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112th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra26992414450710482 Tamil Nadu142798925672032 Delhi113740913123411 Gujarat42808298062056 Karnataka4158116249759 Uttar Pradesh3813024203955 Telangana3622123679365 West Bengal3144819213956 Andhra Pradesh3110316464365 Rajasthan2493618630518 Haryana2192916637308 Madhya Pradesh1820713208653 Assam178081141741 Bihar1742112364125 Odisha13737925591 Jammu and Kashmir108276095179 Kerala8323425732 Punjab81785586199 Chhatisgarh4265320219 Jharkhand3963235131 Uttarakhand3608285647 Goa2583154014 Tripura209314752 Manipur16269700 Puducherry146878518 Himachal Pradesh124392710 Nagaland8453400 Chandigarh5884238 Arunachal Pradesh3871452 Meghalaya316462 Mizoram2331510 Sikkim166870
  Opinion   Edit  08 Apr 2020  AA Edit: Yes, a lockdown for as long as it takes

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