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Lessons from COVID-19 shutdown

  • IASbaba
  • April 1, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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SOCIETY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 1 & 2:

  • Urbanization, their problems and their remedies. 
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Lessons from COVID-19 shutdown

Many festivals in India attract large gathering and they are held without any mishaps every year. On the other hand, economic announcements are always mired with lots of glitch which affect the common citizens more than the expected.

Lockdown period of 21 days, announced by the central government in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, was done to ensure that the damage that could be caused  due to the virus is mitigated. However, there was a lack of contingency plan which affected the migrant workers, construction workers and daily wage labourers the most.

Do you know? 

  • Total cases globally due to coronavirus are more than 8 lakh. 
  • Global deaths due to the virus have reached more than 40,000.
  • In India, the cases have crossed 1500 mark and 45 people have already lost their lives.

Lessons to be learnt 

  • The orders or announcements from the Centre take time to be absorbed and implemented at the state and district levels in a federal structure like India. Therefore the statement should be simultaneously sent to all states which, in turn, should pass it on immediately to local authorities, of which the police force is the most important. 
  • Clear instructions must be given to the police force about the activities which are banned and which are not banned during a curfew so that the normal business does not get affected and the common people are not thrashed without any reason. 
  • All authorities should assemble after such announcement and use internal channels to pass on the information so that life remains normal with the only ban being on movement.
  • A list containing registered and unregistered factories must be prepared so that it is easy to classify industries and segregate those units which are exempted from those that are not.
  • Proper instructions must be given to the factories so that the orders from the government are not interpreted differently and employees are able to reach their place of work without any harassment at the police check post.
  • Requisite passes must be ready and distributed to the concerned units that are allowed to function to prevent any disruptions.
  • It must be ensured that any kind of shutdown should not lead to scarcity of essential commodities in the market.

Way forward

  • As it is too early to take an informed guess about the extension of the lockdown, the governments at the Centre and the states should make sure that the issues are sorted out at the earliest.
  • Sketch outlining all the instructions and exemptions clearly should be prepared and disseminated widely given that the country is well linked through technology and messaging is easy.
  • Measures should be taken to prevent unnecessary hoarding.
  • Since, all the food products have their origins with farmers, any embargo impacts their sales and income, which has to be protected at any cost.

Conclusion

Lockdown, if implemented and co-ordinated properly, doesn’t create any mishaps as much as ill-planned announcement does. Thus, every stakeholder must do their part to make sure that this pandemic doesn’t make a common man’s life more difficult.

Connecting the dots:

  • Staying at home is a privilege for many. Analyse.

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