Editorial: Partial Unlock

Though the problem is far from over, but a steady dip in the number of cases is an encouraging sign. From the figures we had some 2 weeks before, we have now come to a stage when the death count has come to the lowest.

One can wish, and pray, that the downward trend continues and we quickly reach a stage where there are no deaths and the covid positive cases are near to none. But that stage is still some distance away. Meanwhile the lockdown is being lifted partially and the government has started issuing detailed handouts on this. Some of the things need to be reminded at this stage, even at the cost of repetition.

   

No hasty decisions should be made that can undo the gains made in these preceding weeks. Containing the spread of virus, and getting the numbers significantly down, has been achieved at a huge cost. So care must be taken not to allow the situation to relapse in the worst phase that we witnessed in the months of April and May.

That is the first thing to be kept in mind. Second, all those activities that can be carried out online should be put on virtual mode for a long time now. No attempts should be made to make it in-person just to give a sense of normality.

If online shopping is happening, the government should encourage this trend so that people are saved from visiting markets, and at the same time business happens. Similarly, educational institutions should not be opened just to find our how it works.

It’s true that online education is no substitute for in-person classes, but given the situation it is better to wait than take a decision in haste.

Third, a detailed mapping of the government offices should be done to find out which sections can be put on on-line mode for a longer period of time.

That should now become a priority with the administration. Even people should be facilitated, and encouraged, to follow their files virtually. Meanwhile, vaccination should pick up speed so that we are comfortable in resuming more activities in normal mode some months from now.

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