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70th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra70013301082362 Tamil Nadu2349513170187 Delhi208348746523 Gujarat17217107801063 Rajasthan91006213199 Uttar Pradesh83615030222 Madhya Pradesh82835003358 West Bengal57722306325 Bihar3945174123 Andhra Pradesh3676237464 Karnataka3408132852 Telangana2792149188 Jammu and Kashmir260194631 Haryana2356105521 Punjab2301200044 Odisha210412459 Assam14862854 Kerala132760811 Uttarakhand9592225 Jharkhand6612965 Chhatisgarh5481211 Tripura4231730 Himachal Pradesh3401186 Chandigarh2972144 Manipur83110 Puducherry79250 Goa73500 Nagaland4300 Meghalaya28121 Arunachal Pradesh2010 Mizoram110 Sikkim100

AA Edit: Yes, a lockdown for as long as it takes

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 8, 2020, 5:56 pm IST
Updated : Apr 8, 2020, 5:56 pm IST

Till there are no new Covid-19 cases, India must stay at home

Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao argued for extending the lockdown by at least two more weeks.
 Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao argued for extending the lockdown by at least two more weeks.

The whole of India will in times to come look back at Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s call to prime minister Narendra Modi — two days after the PM had had a video conference with all CMs — to extend by at least two weeks the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Chadrashekar Rao was bold enough to acknowledge the elephant in the room. And he was characteristically wise in advocating the simplest course of action available to India: if we must win the battle against Covid-19, we must exercise a maximum social distancing, the only first weapon available to each individual; and to ensure that, we must extend the lockdown.

Chandrashekar Rao weighed the issue well: there is a medical emergency that cannot be wished away, and an economic stagnation leading to a buildup of dead mass through inactivity of productive assets — people, factories, fields, offices, cities, states and the entire country. But we must address it later. In Chandrashekar Rao’s own words, we can grow back the economy, but cannot get back those whose lives will have been lost if we hasten to lift the lockdown even one hour before we are ready.

The Telangana chief minister's intervention found great resonance. His counterparts of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, and West Bengal have given indications that they would rather have an extension of the lockdown than risk a flare-up of the virus.

The BJP chief ministers of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the NDA CMs of Bihar and Tamil Nadu have in their own tacit ways conveyed their view. Not one political leader spoke to the contrary and advocated a lifting of the lockdown.

A national political consensus is significant in our polarised times. The threat of mass deaths due to the virus has brought leaders across parties to the realisation that we cannot let down our guard in this existential battle. Citizens too have by and large rallied around and will continue to take suffering with stoicism till the curve of the epidemic is flattened.

Yes, everyone is not equal during a lockdown. Daily-wage earners, migrant workers, homeless people and those below the poverty line have been hit the worst, and for them each day is a fight to survive. Governments have started working and must augment relief to the subaltern without let-up and with greater efficiency. Ddeath by starvation may not be contagious but no less a national shame.

The lockdown, by most projected scenarios, from the Boston Consulting Group report to calculations of epidemiologists like Ramanan Laxminarayan, should and will stretch across April, perhaps the whole of May too. But it does not matter. Till the last patient is in hospital, quarantined and cured, till there are no new Covid cases, India must stay at home, safe.

We must win the battle and the war at any cost. If the lockdown stays, we will.

Tags: lockdown, k chandrashekar rao, telanana cm
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