Rajat Sharma

Life in metros will change completely after ease of restrictions during Lockdown 4.0

AKB2610The total number of COVID-19 cases in India shot up to 85,786 with a spike of 3,787 new cases on Friday. For the sixth consecutive day in a row, the number of fresh cases have been in the 3,500+ range.

In the world list of coronavirus cases, India is now in the 11th spot leaving behind China, from where the virus originated. China has reported 84,031 cases with 84 per cent of its cases confined to only one province, while the pandemic has spread to many states in India.

Mahrashtra is leading the list with 29,100 cases followed by Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat. According to one report, nearly 79 per cent of the cases are confined to 30 municipal regions.

Now that the pandemic is here to stay for a long time, preparations are afoot to ease the 50-day-old nationwide lockdown. Other countries have started easing lockdowns. Dubai opened its malls and restaurants, the Metro is operating in London and Paris, markets have reopened in Japan, cafes and restaurants are back in business in Switzerland.

In India, railways have resumed operations and airlines, city Metros, and markets are about to reopen, with strict regulations.

Life in the metros will change completely. Work in offices and factories, leisure time in cafes and restaurants, and shopping in malls and markets will be a very different experience during the post-lockdown period.

Social distancing will be a must for commuters on Delhi Metro. Commuters will have to sit on alternate seats inside the coach, and stickers have been put on the seats. The usual crowds will be absent.

The last Delhi Metro train ran on March 22 and the entire network has remained closed since last 55 days. All 264 Metro stations and premises are being sanitized and Metro feeder buses are also being disinfected.

On an average, 15 lakh people commute daily on Delhi Metro, but from Monday onwards, not all trains will run. Metro trains will run only on selected routes and stop at selected stations. There will be no more checking and frisking by CISF staff with metal detectors. The screening will be fully automated. Markings have been put on platforms, entrance, lobby, corridors, stairs, escalators and security area, and hand sanitizers will be made available.

Most of the chief ministers want public transport buses to ply again. In Delhi, there are 3,800 DTC buses and nearly 2,400 cluster buses transporting 25 lakh commuters daily. During Lockdown 4.0, DTC buses will ply only on selected routes. Only 20 passengers will be allowed to sit in each bus. Wearing mask will be mandatory.

Most of the state governments want markets and shops to reopen in orange and green zones. Delhi government has suggested odd-even formula, or three days a week, for reopening of shops in markets. Rajasthan government has asked the Centre to leave the decisions to state and local authorities. In Ahmedabad, cashless payment to vendors and shopkeepers is being promoted.

With offices, markets and shops reopening, and buses and Metro plying, the risks of Coronavirus spread will surely multiply. That is why, the easing of lockdown is being done carefully.

It is up to people how they follow social distancing and personal hygiene norms. Experts the world over agree that people with strong immunity can resist their body from virus attack. Yoga is the best way to attain strong immunity, and it goes to the credit of Swami Ramdev who has been teaching yoga and a healthy lifestyle every morning at 8 am in our show on India TV. These are not complicated ‘asanas’ and people the world over have begun following them.

Along with yoga, I can recommend daily intake of 3 to 4 litres water, preferably lukewarm, consumption of citrus fruits, putting a pinch of turmeric in a glass of hot milk and drinking daily, sticking to nutritious diet and avoiding junk food, putting a full stop to smoking, having a sound sleep for 6-8 hours at night, and if possible, preparing a concoction of Tulsi leaves, black pepper and ginger and drinking one teaspoonful daily.

Those unable to do complicated physical exercises during yoga, can stick to breathing exercises only like Anulom Vilom and Kapaal Bhati for 15-20 minutes. If anybody is suffering from dry cough and sneezing, there is no need to stigmatize such people. The virus can catch anybody and the cough and sneezing could be due to common cold.

Let us look forward to a new world post-Corona, practise a spartan and healthy regimen and keep ourselves and our neighbours safe and sound.

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