Editorial | Phased re-opening

File Pic: Mir Imran/GK

As the time period of the lockdown 4 comes to an end, we are no where near the end of this crisis. A day before lockdown 4.0 ended, India recorded highest single-day spike of 265 deaths, 7,964 positive cases. Here in J&K near two hundred new cases were reported. These figure clearly tell us that the graph is going up in absolute terms. However, seen in perspective, in the absence of a lockdown the numbers would have been staggeringly high. The adverse effects on economy, and other aspects of human life, aside, the restrictions placed on the movement of people outside their homes, and the enforcement of social distancing, did help in containing the spread of this disease. But as other problems mount government has decided to move towards opening up things piecemeal. This gradual easing out is meant to strike a balance between the requirement of lockdown, and the demands of economy and other routine activities of life. Now it has become necessary to make the two imperatives move along simultaneously. However, in this qualified re-opening, a distinction has been made between various zones. So people in containment zones will have to face restrictions for some more time. But the people in those areas where a gradual relaxing of restrictions is announced should understand that care has to be exercised, and guidelines issued by relevant departments have to be strictly followed.

If we are callous in this regard, and in a fit to come out of homes we violate the SOPs, it can defeat the whole exercise. In that case it can land the people of that particular area into more trouble. Since the virus is here, we have to be mindful of its presence. True, we need to get back to the routine activities, but without forgetting that the culprit is lurking around. The government on its part should also take utmost care, because while re-opening there is a likelihood of things getting little messy. Now that people have stayed indoors for this long, and suffered in many ways, it should not all go waste. So both the people and the government will have to take extra care in ensuring that life limps back to normal, disallowing the virus to throw in a spanner.