Rajat Sharma

Tell everybody that ‘curfew’ also means ‘care for you’

AKB2103 On Friday night in my show Aaj Ki Baat, I showed the video of a Coronavirus female patient speaking from her ICU bed and imploring all not to take this deadly virus lightly. She was fighting for her life and there were tubes attached to her body to help her breathe. There were rashes on her face and she was repeatedly coughing.

All of us in India should hear what the lady is saying. She is saying, she was hale and hearty a few days ago, but when the virus struck her, she ignored the telltale symptoms and mixed with her friends. The lady is telling the world never to ignore virus symptoms in the initial stage and refrain from hiding one’s problems from health care authorities. The good part of the story is that she was in a serious condition 10 days ago and she is now recovering.

Our government is trying its best to ensure that India does not enter Stage 3 (community at risk), but due to negligence or callousness or sheer effrontery, some people who have been tested positive are spreading the virus.

One of the latest examples is that of Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, who returned from London on March 8, met her parents and stayed in a hotel in Lucknow, where she attended Holi and other parties attended by politicians, industrialists and celebrities. She had ignored the advice of airport authorities to stay in self-quarantine.

Kanika has now been put in isolation ward of Lucknow’s KGMU and the state police has filed an FIR against her for negligence. She was suffering from fever during the parties, but did not disclose this fact. The parties were attended among others by former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and her son BJP MP Dushyant Singh, BSP leader Akbar Ahmed Dumpy, Congress leader Jitin Prasad and the UP Health Minister.

Kanika’s family members have also been quarantined. The singer said she had flu symptoms four days back and during test, she was found Corona positive. The room in which she stayed in the hotel has been sanitized and sealed, and her parent’s residence has been sanitized.

The story does not end here. BJP MP Dushyant Singh attended Parliament on Thursday and mixed with several MPs including Nishikant Dubey and Manoj Tiwari. Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien sat near him during the meeting of Standing Committee on Transport. Derek and several other leaders have now opted for self-quarantine.

All those who came in contact with Kanika Kapoor, whether Vasundhara or her son Dushyant, cannot be held accountable, because they did not know that the singer had Coronavirus symptoms. The pertinent question being raised is: why such parties were allowed in the first place at a time when ‘social distancing’ message is being given to the people to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

This virus is very cruel. It does not distinguish between people who come in contact, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Extreme caution is the key. People must avoid parties and dining in restaurants, but some people try to flout these guidelines. It is not ‘Herogiri’, it is suicidal. The most surprising part is that a well educated girl like Kanika knowingly flouted these norms and mixed with people.

One person’s mistake can spread the virus among 10 others, and the ten others may spread it to 100 or 1,000 people without the chain being broken. This is how a pandemic occurs. Think about the unimaginable losses it brings in its wake.

I appeal to everybody to watch the Prime Minister’s address to the nation again carefully, and follow the norms scrupulously. Also please spread this message among all. Tell them that ‘curfew’ also means ‘care for you’.

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