Lockdown gone but not the virus

Those of us who least expected the Prime Minister exclusively talking about the continuing lurking dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic during his address to the nation on Oct 20, in the evening, must have realised the importance of the subject since he, like a Head of the family , shared concerns and precautions about the Coronavirus with the family members of 135 crore people. Notwithstanding the habitual criticism of some opposition parties about his not ”touching other topics”, it must be realised that it was the life of an average Indian that mattered more than any collateral issues to be debated and discussed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address was not only absolutely timely but of great value looking to the prospects of people feeling complacent about continuing to follow strictly the precautionary protocol against the Coronavirus in the light of series of approaching festivals. Psychologically, some people may have started feeling somewhat relaxed in respect of observing precautionary code since lockdown was completely lifted . Linking lifting of lockdown with feeling somewhat insulated could prove very costly not only for an individual but bringing home a basket of troubles of menacing proportions for family , in particular children and the elderly, is what passionately was shared by the Prime Minister in his address with the countrymen. Said the Prime Minister with a cautionary note that “Lockdown has ended but the virus is still there”.
Going by the expert medical advice , if there were any effective measures even better than an expected vaccine , they were – wearing a mask covering nose and mouth, keeping physical distance of at least two metres and frequent hand washing. The same advice was repeated by the Prime Minister and while it was neither any costly affair nor any sort of giving any type of trouble yet it was a guarantee against contracting any infection which could prove fatal. Why should the country not know and feel proud of as well that India had ”managed” the virus in a far better way than most of the advanced countries where fatalities per million were 600 as against 83 in India. Again, on a comparative analysis , where there are 25000 COVID cases per one million population in countries like the US and Brazil, the corresponding figure in India is 5500 . On the treatment side, India has managed a bedding capacity of 90 lakh patients and there are 12000 quarantine centres helped by as many as 2000 laboratories. These figures put India at a very comfortable and commanding position but again, there was no room , absolutely nothing of the sort, for resorting to any laxity which could prove only perilous .
We know a multifaceted and multi cultured country like India has special significance for our festivals which could be celebrated fully even amidst the pandemic, though advisable with a comparative subdued profile, but the spirits could get dampened due to application of laxity in precautionary norms, and hence both the things needed to be kept in mind. The Prime Minister made it clear that until a vaccine is found, for which lot of work was underway , people needed to be careful and never be callous . Removing any room of speculations about reaching out to the vaccine individually, whenever launched, the Government was making all efforts to ensure that it reached every Indian. Invoking the Holy scripture of Ramcharitmanas and sage Kabir not to take fire, enemy and disease lightly , the Prime Minister advised to continue to remain in precautionary mode with no let up or relaxation.