The mechanics of the running of the bulls | HT Editorial – Editorials
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday the most radical and disruptive measure worldwide to combat the coronavirus pandemic. He announced a three-week shutdown for the entire country and strictly warned citizens not to leave their homes for the next 21 days. Given that this applies to more than 1.3 billion citizens across all Union states and territories, covering all sectors except essential services, the scale of the blockade is unprecedented, not only in India, but worldwide. . Other countries have resorted to blockades that have been more limited, either in space or duration.
Blocking is essential. As Modi said, there is no way to combat the pandemic except through strict social distancing. In India, relying solely on voluntary distancing is insufficient: it must be backed by the authority of the state. It is also true that once the virus spreads, given India’s poor health infrastructure, it will be very difficult to contain. However, it is important to moderate expectations. India will continue to see an increase in cases for now, as the tests increase and many, who developed symptoms slowly, test positive. But if the blockade is successful, as the prime minister said, India can succeed in breaking the chain of human transmission and flattening the curve.
But while the responsibility falls on citizens to follow the government’s directive, the government has to do the following. One, the lock cannot be enforced with additional legal measures. This has been visible in the form of police brutality across the country or in Telangana’s chief minister, K Chandrashekar Rao, suggesting on-demand firing orders against violators. Respect the law and be proportionate and responsive in responses. Two, police authorities must receive clear instructions to allow the supply of essential items and not impede movement. Third, the government needs to communicate more clearly with citizens and assure them that it will ensure that basic needs are met. Fourth, it must immediately develop an economic plan for daily wage workers, migrant workers and those in the unorganized sector, who have no means of supporting themselves for so long given the interruption of their livelihoods. Five, you need to use this time to augment healthcare systems, improve testing, create dedicated facilities, provide protective equipment for healthcare workers, and supply ventilators and other essential medical supplies. And lastly, you must develop a medium-term economic plan, as income and jobs will be seriously affected. As citizens fulfill their duties, it is time for the state to do its part.