TODAY -

Relaxations anti-thesis to total curfew
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: July 21, 2021 -



IT is rather disheartening that the government perceived it necessary to exempt few more sectors from the purview of the total curfew on the second day of the restrictive measures itself.

While imposition of the 10-day curfew has brought to a grinding halt various activities and hindered official routines, the decision to ease the curbs within hours of its imposition is hard to digest for the state is facing an unprecedented crisis situation meriting continuation with strictest of measures to contain the contagion.

The daily cases may have fallen a day after the curfew came into force but the fact remains that 16 Covid patients succumbed and the test positivity rate went up to 17.84 per cent against the previous day's record of 15.09 per cent.

These figures underline the alarming pandemic situation in the state and possibility of getting worse if the 10-day curfew could not be enforced vigorously and effectively.

As per the order issued by chief secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, the activities exempted from the purview of the pandemic-induced restrictions include post office with minimal staff for urgent office work and delivery; veterinary and animal husbandry/dairy; e-commerce delivery; Banking and ATM services with limited staff on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 2.30 pm; CAF &PD; Forest department to facilitate tree plantation and feeding/ movement of animals; officials and workers of road projects taken up by NHIDCL, Asian Development Bank and railway projects in the state.

The order also advised deputy commissioners to issue necessary orders and SPs to take necessary action to implement the orders strictly. Permitting operation of few more sectors will also embolden some unscrupulous elements to take advantage of the relaxation and resort to deceptive means.

Thus, instead of intensifying the preventive measures and following up with virus containment efforts, allowing more sectors to operate, albeit staggeringly, during the curfew period will only add to the burden of the police officers and personnel who are dispensing their duty under the summer heat in different parts of the state.

Effectiveness of the curfew across the state in the first two days was mainly due to the diligence of the police forces but there is no guarantee that the police will be able to maintain the same level of alertness and commitment in case movement of people and vehicles increases, which is now inevitable due to relaxation of the aforementioned services or sectors.

Compared to the relative convenience in verifying documents and questioning a handful of people moving around during the curfew hours, increase in vehicular traffic and people is bound to test the resilience of the law enforcement personnel.

As the cops too are vulnerable to contract the infectious disease, it is but natural that they would get eventually get complacent and perceive it wastage of time and energy to check every vehicle and their operators/ occupants, especially when their senior officers are not around.

The government may have its own reasons for permitting more activities to operate in such haste but the move will have dispiriting effect on the police personnel when their diligent service is of utmost necessity in containing the pandemic.

If at all the police personnel get lethargic and do not perform their duties to the optimum, then it needs no reminding that the virus containment measures will be futile and there will be great distress and wailing all around.



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