As the virus spread at a rapid rate, and the infected people, even in the asymptomatic phase, were infecting other people. The government all over the world did not have any other option left but to implement coronavirus lockdown.
CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN IN INDIA
On 23 January 2020, The coronavirus forced the Chinese government to implement lockdown in Wuhan and other containment zones in Hubei to control the virus to spread further. But it was too late, and the virus was already spread and caused a pandemic around the globe.
The first case of coronavirus disease in India was found in the state of Kerala on 30 January 2020, when a university student of Wuhan traveled back to the country. As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 500, the Indian government took the first action. On 19 March 2020, the government announced a 14-hour curfew on 22 March 2020. Every citizen except the coronavirus helpers or people of essential services such as medical professionals, police, media, home delivery people, and firefighters were asked to take part in the nationwide curfew. At 5 pm on the same day, the citizens were asked to stand in their balconies, terrace, doorways, or windows and clap their hands or ring the bells in appreciation for the coronavirus warriors. After this, on 24 March 2020, a nationwide lockdown was implemented by the government for 21 days, restricting the entire 1.3 billion population of India as a preventive measure against coronavirus pandemic.
Restrictions in coronavirus lockdown
The coronavirus lockdown was implemented more strictly than the Janta curfew. Here are some of the limitation during the coronavirus lockdown
- Restricted people to step out of their houses
- Suspension of transport services- road, air, and rail. Except for the transportation of essential and emergency services.
- All educational institutions, industrial establishments, and hospitality services were also shut down.
- Some essential services such as food shops, banks, ATMs, petrol pumps were allowed to open in a restricted manner.
- Strict actions were taken against people who were found to violate the rules.
As the lockdown was implemented, people started to buy essential stock items. Several arrests were also made for breaking the rules of lockdown. Many measures were taken by the government to supply the vital services, to provide the relief funds to the poor, to help the people affected by the lockdown, which included free food items and cooking gas, cash transfers to the poor, insurance coverage for the medical professionals.
On 5 April 2020, citizens were asked to switch off the electric lights at home from 9 pm for 9 minutes, and light Diya, candle or flash torchlight or mobile light to show respect to the coronavirus helpers or the COVID-19 warriors who were working day and night to fight with the coronavirus. As the 21 days lockdown was coming towards the end, the rate of coronavirus infections was reduced to a significant amount. Many states like Odisha, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Telangana expressed their decision to extend the lockdown phase.
Finally, on the last day of initial lockdown, i.e., on 14 April 2020, the government extended the nationwide lockdown till 3 may, with a statement that the relaxations would be allowed after 20 April in the regions where the coronavirus spread is in control.
After evaluating every area, every state, the lockdown regions were classified into different zones. The zones were
- Red zone- infection hotspots
- Orange zones- some infections
- Green zones- no infections
The government announced certain relaxations with instructions to strictly maintain social distancing.
20 April 2020
- Allowing the agricultural business to run
- Reopening the public work programs
- Cargo vehicles.
- Banks and government centers involved in helping people were also allowed to open.
25 April 2020
- Small retail shops with limited staff members
IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN
We can say that coronavirus lockdown has caused a significant disruption in our lives with a substantial shift in our state of living. Despite many services and help provided by the government, people’s lives have been drastically affected by the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus.
Many people lost their jobs, attempted suicide due to nonavailability of liquor, people are also going through lots of stress, and we are observing a significant economic slowdown around the globe.
Just as a silver lining in the clouds, we can say that the coronavirus lockdown is having a positive impact on our environment. Due to the lesser human activity and shutdown of industries, the pollution levels have remarkably lessened. Plus, due to the lockdown, the coronavirus infections are in control to some extent.