Three-day lockdown – A welcome decision
As the Covid-19 continues to spread like wildfire, the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have declared complete lockdown from 7 pm Thursday to 7 am Monday. The lockdown had become imperative as the tally of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir has crossed the highest mark of 3000 Covid-19 positive cases since March last year and in the month of April alone the Union Territory has reported 219 deaths so far – 110 from Kashmir and 109 from Jammu division. The situation is very serious as there is no let up in the spread of the deadly virus. The authorities have already issued directions regarding the selective opening of shops and number of passengers boarding public transport. Several areas with large number of Covid positive cases have been declared containment zones. However, the surge continues threatening the human lives ferociously.
From day one, we have, through this column, regularly been stressing that the fight against Covid-19 can’t be won by the administrative orders alone. It is a fight that is to be fought in every household, on every lane and street of Jammu and Kashmir and it is to be fought by the people of the UT. One thing is to be kept in mind that coronavirus never visits by invitation only. Therefore, it is responsibility of the masses to find out whether or not they themselves are inviting this virus. Yes, if people don’t wear face masks; don’t maintain social distancing and don’t follow the hand hygiene tips, they are inviting the virus and the administrative directives and orders are not going to help stop the spread. People have to follow the Covid-19 SOPs seriously to break the fresh surge. Unfortunately there are instances where people are seen violating these norms by crowding in markets thus providing the virus an ideal atmosphere to spread and target more and more people. Those who violate the SOPs are not endangering their own lives by the lives of others too and are thus culpable of mass murder. The government has put its men and machinery into action to ensure that Covid related SOPs are followed, but for these agencies, it is not humanly possible to reach out to every individual roaming on the streets. Therefore people themselves have to do the needful and follow all the precautions besides making their fellow citizens to do the same. The way Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing the spread of virus it had become imperative for the authorities to take the harshest decision of imposing lockdown. True, the earlier lockdown played havoc with peoples’ economy but once a choice is to be made between life and economy, life takes the precedence.
The Lt Governor administration has taken the right decision at right time. It is also appreciable that instead of making a last minute announcement, the government has given public ample time to store rations for the three days of the lockdown. This is what should be done in future too as the prior information reduces the chances of panic buying. Let it be a weekly affair and let lockdown be observed every Friday, Saturday and Sunday till we are able to break the deadly curve of the coronavirus. People should fully cooperate with the authorities and stay at home during the lockdown period. The lockdown is for the safety of the public and therefore should be observed in that spirit.