India has been taking incremental steps to combat the coronavirus. On a daily basis, the Government has been announcing further measures to contain the disease. Seemingly, the Government is walking a fine line between ensuring that the situation does not spiral out of control and not creating a panic situation either. Janta Curfew is another move in this direction.
However, a question needs to be raised. Is Janta Curfew for 14 hours on a Sunday enough to tackle the coronavirus threat, that would have affected almost 300 people by that date?
Learnings from China and Europe
Once, China accepted the perils of the coronavirus, it acted swiftly and decisively. Europe dilly-dallied and is facing the consequences. The death count in Italy has already surpassed China.
We know how China has got rid of coronavirus for now. We know what Europe is going through. For that matter, the United States is also paying the price for dragging the feet. Why cannot we just follow the Chinese example?
Janta Curfew is the same mistake that Europe committed. We are also following the similar hazardous route that has worsened the pandemic.
Why wait till stage 2 of coronavirus
India knows that there are already triple-digit Covid-19 cases in the country. Yes, they are all imported cases. Local transmission is yet to happen in any significant numbers.
Once stage 2 arrives, it is only a matter of a day or two to move to stage 3 of community transmission – the explosion of Covid-19 patients. Why cannot we just curb the disease before it reaches stage 2 substantially for us to handle?
Janta Curfew for a day, that too on a Sunday, hardly has any utility to fight the stage 2 transmission.
Janta Curfew – A feel-good fight
Seemingly, the Government does not want to give harsh orders. Remember the fate of traffic rules violation penalty and FASTAGs. The Government knows the citizens well enough that nobody in India is used to following the strict orders.
Why Janta Curfew only for a day? That too only till 9 pm and not till mid-night? Why on a Sunday and not on any other days of the week? The Government wants the citizens to feel good about them. That, they have done enough. That, the country has done her duty. And, we can cheer each other.
Just that, the coronavirus may not know to read the time and the calendar.
A decisive action
It is not about creating panic and making people fear for their lives. It is about deciding whether to live by inflicting a thousand cuts on the body involuntarily or by deliberately taking a deep cut on the body.
Coronavirus has entered the country and is not going to leave on its own accord. It has to be flushed out from each and every corner of the country, once and for all. It will take making unpopular moves and accepting severe economic damage as the price for getting rid of Covid-19.
The cities have to be closed down. The industries and offices have to be shut down. The police and army have to be deployed to ensure that not a single person defies the government orders.
It has to be a complete lock-down and not the Janta Curfew.
Test Test Test v/s Lock-down v/s Janta Curfew
WHO has issued guidelines of Test Test Test to tame the coronavirus pandemic. India is not following these. It is understandable given the size of India and numbers of India’s population.
Now, India is not following the complete lock-down either. Janta Curfew is a neither here nor there move. The Government does not want to test the citizens and wants the citizens to keep moving around, apart from a day.
The Government’s actions defy logic and are inexplicable.
Janta Curfew will allow us to pat ourselves on the next day. It is beyond me what other benefits it is going to serve to anyone and everyone.
There is only one way to stop the coronavirus – break the chain of transmission. This requires sweeping and coercive measures – the complete lock-down.
I might be overreacting, but better be safe, than be sorry. It is only one life to live for all of us.
As a responsible citizen, my family and I will follow the Janta Curfew on Sunday. We are going to follow the curfew on all other days as well, till India is coronavirus free.