Fight Against COVID-19: India in Lockdown

Image: HT

We the people of India”, the words with which Indian Constitution’s Preamble begins, was used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the nearly 25 minutes video message on 13th April 2020 addressing the nation, praising the country for their collective fight against Coronavirus by following and abiding by the obligations for the 21 days of lockdown. He pointed out that unified efforts by the people for fulfilling their duties like disciplined soldiers is the power of “We the people of India”, that Indian constitution talks about.

Prime Minister announced 21 days of complete lockdown to break the cycle of Coronavirus. This was considered to be a farsighted step. The three-week total lockdown for 1.3 billion Indians created panic and anxiety throughout the country. But the constant support by governments at centre and state level, by making available necessary infrastructure and being over-prepared, lighted the hope and trust among the people to stand in unity in the difficult times.

PM in his address to the nation said that the decision will have an economic cost but saving people lives is of utmost interest to his government. PM encouraged the idea of social distancing and urged people to use “Namaste over Handshake”. The idea of social distancing has proved to be the key to containing the virus by minimizing human contact with each other. The total number of cases has grown above 12000, and the death toll nearing 415 as of April, 17. This is comparatively much low as compared to other affected nations like Italy and the USA.

The Government has further extended the lockdown until May 3, 2020, with new rules and regulations and strictly following social distancing, which is popularly being called Lockdown 2.0.

The Indian authorities have taken rampant measures to prevent the disease from escalating to community transmission stage. The rapid action is taken to limit the travel by suspending visas and quarantining all incoming travellers who had to undergo Universal Health Screening. Following the evacuation operation, India also ensured the safe return of over 900 Indians from China, US, Iran and several other countries. 

Travel restrictions have been imposed as flights, trains and buses are cancelled, all borders are shut, curfew has been imposed on hotspot areas, doctors and nurses were equipped with all the infrastructure and facilities, police plays a dynamic role in ensuring that all the measures of lockdown are properly implemented, the government also ensured the availability of everyday resources to the people and schools, colleges, movie halls, gym are closed.

Government has issued emergency state and centre helpline numbers for health-related issues and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Science (NIMHANS) has also issued helpline number for people to seek medical consultation to tackle mental and behavioural issues.

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The government traced and quarantined all the people who were suspected to have the virus, launched application AarogyaSetu to ensure people are safe and issued various advisories to keep people informed and advised them to abstain from fake news.

Mike Ryan, WHO emergencies programme director said “India is a hugely populous country. The future of this pandemic will be determined by what happens to densely populated countries. It’s important that India takes aggressive actions at the public health level and at the level of society to control and suppress the disease”. According to WHO, India’s response to fight the virus is “good and impressive.” Being the most populated country, India aims to fight the pandemic in unity to contain and suppress further spread under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Ritika Dhingra

Ritika Dhingra is a PhD Scholar at Amity Institute of Social Sciences, Amity University, Noida, India. She can be reached at ritikadhingra33@gmail.com

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