Rajat Sharma

For God’s sake, please do not defy lockdowns

akb0712I write this with anger and sadness. Anger because educated people in cars crowded the Delhi-Noida flyway on Monday morning despite knowing that both the Delhi and Noida authorities had clamped lockdown in entire National Capital Region. Sad because India TV showed visuals of passengers at Patna bus junction crammed inside buses and sitting on rooftops, most of them with family members. All of them were in a hurry to leave for their villages after clamping of lockdown in Bihar.

It is really astonishing that despite appeals from the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers and constant warnings being printed and telecasted through media, some people openly defied lockdown on Monday. Car owners not only jammed the DND flyway but also argued with policemen manning the checkposts who were telling them that only those working for essential services are allowed to come out on the roads.

How can one make people understand that there is no proven cure available for Coronavirus? Only social distancing and lockdowns can prevent the spread of this deadly disease, which till Tuesday morning had crossed the 16,000 mark across the world. India TV showed visuals of overcrowding on buses and flyways on Monday, because we wanted to caution the people. Think about your wife, children and family members, whom you leave at home and go out to defy lockdown.

It is because of these violators that the authorities in Delhi and other states have taken a tough stance. Curfew has been declared in several places and only those holding passes will be allowed to come out. Delhi Police Commissioner has asked police to impound and challan vehicles that come out on roads without valid passes.

Think for a moment: if Parliament, Supreme Court, High Courts, lower courts, flights, buses and train services can be closed in the interest of the people, defying lockdown should not be taken as a joke. My earnest appeal to all is, stay home, stay safe, you and your family will remain safe. We must not commit the same mistakes that countries like Italy, France and Spain committed by delaying lockdowns. Look at the casualty figures in those countries.

India is on the threshold of Stage 3 (community at risk). God forbid, if India enters Stage 3, population in cities, villages and towns will fall prey to this deadly disease. World Health Organisation has praised our Prime Minister for adopting the social distancing strategy in time, because our healthcare system has limited resources and if thousands are found positive, it will be difficult to handle all cases.

While speaking to news broadcasters on Monday, the Prime Minister spoke about a lady doctor who told AIIMS director “I am treating patients of Coronavirus fearlessly, but I have old parents at home,if something happens to me please taken care of them” The Prime Minister had tears in his eyes when he narrated this.

We should think about our doctors, nurses and health care workers. They are doing their utmost to save lives. Let us think about them. The Prime Minister is working round-the-clock. It is our duty to listen to his words. He is not seeking much from you. Stay in your homes for at least a week or two, so that the spread of the virus can be halted.

At least do this for yourself, your family, your community and your country. This country has given you so much and expects you a little bit of cooperation in return. If you do not follow rules, God forbid, the government will have to follow China, which used strong arm methods to lock in millions of people in Wuhan and other cities. So please stay home, stay safe. Let’s sit at home to save our nation.

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