Let’s join hands to defeat Covid-19

Dear Editor,
The Modi administration is leaving no stone unturned to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prime minister has appealed to 130 crore Indians to take precaution by maintaining social distancing. He also appealed to his countrymen to observe janta curfew on 22 March in his first address to the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. His appeal for janta curfew was responded to well by the people of India.
Understanding the gravity of the situation in the country due to the outbreak of the disease, Modi again addressed the country for a second time within a week, on 24 March. This time he appealed to the people to stay at home by announcing total lockdown of the country for 21 days from the midnight of 24 March. Urging the countrymen to remain in home during the lockdown period, he said that “anyone who fails to comply with the order would go back to another 21 years.”
One of the greatest challenges for the country ahead is its healthcare service and facilities to counter the contagious Covid-19. It is to be seen how India’s preparedness to fight this pandemic is. Is India well-equipped to face any challenges from the coronavirus? In addition to this, ensuring safety and security of the people and safeguarding the economy are a matter of great concern.
As the country is under lockdown for a long period, economic activities of the nation have slowed down; in other words, it has come to a standstill. Under such a critical situation, taking care of the economic condition of the people belonging to the economically weaker section of the society is equally important. Though the government has announced a relief package amounting to 1.7 lakh crore, it still has a long way to go to ensure economic independence of the people amid the coronavirus crisis.
Arunachal Pradesh has come under lockdown from 23 March, before the enforcement of the nationwide lockdown. Though the state has only one Covid-19 positive case, the people here are in fear and panic.
The government under the leadership of Chief Minister Pema Khandu is trying its best to tackle and handle the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like the rest of the world, the state is also facing certain challenges in terms of preparedness, like availability of PPE for the frontline workers, ICUs, ventilators, and Covid-19 hospitals. However, according to the state nodal officer for Covid-19, the state is fully prepared and equipped to face any eventuality. This statement has really sent a positive message to the people of the state.
Another major challenge being faced by the state is the strict implementation of the lockdown order. Staying indoors and maintaining social distancing are the most important guidelines of the lockdown to defeat and break the chain of the virus. But it is reported that people are not listening to the government’s order and advisories. There are reports of violation of the lockdown order from various parts of the state, which is really very embarrassing. A few people are not serious about the gravity of the situation borne out of this deadly virus when even developed nations and advanced economies of the world have failed to contain it.
The situation in the capital region is even worse, as a police officer was seen touching the feet of the people, which is considered to be the last resort to make the public stay at home to keep themselves and the state safe from this global pandemic.
The DM and the SP have personally been supervising the distribution of essential commodities like LPG and vegetables. These actions are enough for the citizens to understand the severity of the situation. The citizens need to understand that 21 days of hardship is meant for the prosperity and happiness of their entire life. Of course, there are also some genuine and serious people who never venture out unless the situation demands. The pleas of such people need to be heeded by administration and the security personnel.
One the worst impacts of the lockdown is on economy of the state. Economic activity is almost nil in the state since the announcement of the lockdown, barring a few grocery stores identified by the government in selected locations for providing essential commodities. The government of Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with the Centre is striving to ensure that the people do not die of starvation due to the lockdown.
In this connection, the government has announced some relief packages for the people belonging to the BPL category and labourers working under unorganized sectors.
The big question now is: how and when will the state make a comeback to its normal economic activities? How will the people compensate for the losses in their business? The state government as well as the people will have to work hard to regain and recover the state’s economy, which has crumbled due to the lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Let’s join hands to fight and defeat the contagious Covid-19 by obeying the orders of the government. Stay home and stay safe.
B Gichik,
H Sector, Itanagar