TODAY -

Will partial lockdown help curb virus transmission?
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: January 10, 2022 -



AS the latest order which restricts various activities aimed at stopping spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is similar to those adopted during the first two waves, it is obvious that preventing escalation of cases and deepening of the health crisis will rest on efficiency of the enforcement agencies to implement the safety measures and how the public respond to the situation.

About 10 days back, another order was issued by the Home Department restricting musical concerts, Thabal Chongba, celebratory feasts, large gathering of public in enclosed areas or indoor halls, etc., after the state became the first in the northeast region to report Omicron infection on a Tanzania-returnee man.

Unlike the first Covid-19 case in the state in April 2020 that triggered great fear and led to impromptu blockading of localities after a girl, who had returned home from London was confirmed to be a vector, the general reaction during the virulent second wave as well as detection of the Omicron case in December last was predominantly marked by complacency on the part of the public.

While semblance of stability in the pandemic situation despite thousands of state natives rushing home from different parts of the country after outbreak of the viral disease was one of the factors for the public to ignore the precautionary measures adopted during the second wave that saw hospitals running out of beds and disturbing number of patients succumbing to the pandemic, it seems that the commoners are according more importance to reports of milder infection from Omicron rather than heeding warnings given by health experts that escalation of the third wave will also bring disastrous consequences.

Thus, in view of the inevitability of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the Covid-19 overwhelming the healthcare system yet again in case the public continue to let down their guard, the toughest task for the government authorities would be instilling fear among the masses that the situation could go out of control anytime.

Among others, imminent large gathering of people for election-related activities in the run-up to the assembly election would be greatest challenge for all.

Comprehending possible aggravation of the pandemic as there has been spike in the number of Omicron cases across the country and a similar trend witnessed in the state since the last few days, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has come up with the idea of imposing partial lockdown with immediate effect.

Though enforcement of curfew from 9 pm to 5 am is unlikely to be effective in preventing spread of the contagion, strictest implementation of restrictions on public gathering in both enclosed and open spaces along with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour by the public would definitely help the state keep the situation under control.

However, in case the order for mandatory wearing of face masks when one moves out of the home is not upheld or the law enforcement agencies do not perform their duties diligently, then it is obvious that all the restrictive measures would be merely for formality, therefore, it is imperative that either the public realise gravity of the situation and follow the safety protocols or the police authorities advise those working at the ground level to befittingly deal with the recalcitrant citizens if the semblance of normalcy achieved after months of hardships is to be maintained.



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