As economies crumble under the pressing weight of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of countries including India are beginning to relax their lockdown restrictions. India’s lockdown 3.0 for instance, began with a number of relaxations, a conditional movement of vehicles, and opening of liquor shops being the major ones among them all.
Currently, the Indian central government is also contemplating re-starting publish transport facilities and one cannot help but wonder how is that going to go after the liquor shop mania earlier this week. Also, how wise of an idea can it really be to go back to the regular flow of the things with no COVID-19 vaccine in sight? Reiterating similar concerns, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a warning to all the nations who are currently working on either lifting the lockdown or practising some relaxation while advising them to be “extremely careful” with the situation.
“Risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully and in a phased approach,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a virtual statement from Geneva. “If lockdown measures are lifted too quickly, the virus can take off,” WHO further warned the world.
With the lockdown periods getting extended for months now, countries are beginning to panic given the alarming state of their economies at the moment. And while India begins to make a plan of further easing the lockdown, countries like the US, Germany, and Spain have already started working on it.
The US President Donald Trump has been constantly talking about how the country needs to be re-opened with almost 1.26 million coronavirus infected people at hand. Not to forget, that the situations in the US could have been somewhat better had it been for a stricter lockdown in the first place. “While the fire is raging I think our focus should not be divided,” says WHO official Mike Ryan commenting on the issue.
Ghebreyesus also commented on all the allegations of colluding with China during the virtual press conference and said “The rule we have in WHO and other UN agencies is that when a member state reports we post as is… The most important thing is our guidance before, during and after 14 January included the likelihood of human to the human transmission that helped countries to prepare…This is the whole truth.”
However, worked politics aside, there are bigger concerns for us to look at right now. With the COVID-19 cases in India, already crossing the 50k mark and the first half of May being the most crucial time for its mitigation processes, it is only wise that India pays heed to the WHO advisory. We cannot lose sight of the fact that it was, in fact, a timely lockdown that has helped us in containing the lockdown despite being the second most populated country in the world. We hope the centre works accordingly and practice maximum caution as they go on relaxing the lockdown.
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