COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has significantly spread in numerous countries. This virus is highly infectious and has infected more than 3 million people worldwide with hundreds of casualties. The United States of America leads with the maximum number of cases and deaths compared to the other countries. India has also reported more than 37,000 cases as of now.
In the stride to curb the spread of the virus, several countries have implemented a strict lockdown. A significant part of the world population is stuck inside their homes. People are only allowed to leave their homes to get essential commodities. Other essential services like healthcare, police and security department, goods and transportation services, etc. have also been spared from the lockdown limitations. Masks and social distancing has been mandatory for the people.
In light of the lockdown, several countries have been successful in controlling the situation. China, from where the disease had originated, is in a very stable condition now.
The government of India had announced an acrimonious lockdown forcing nearly 1.3 billion people to stay inside their homes. On 1st May 2020, the government announced an extension of the lockdown till 17th May 2020. There will be a complete ban on inter-state transport, air travel, and all the educational institutes, theaters, malls, and restaurants will remain closed until further notice.
The government has also provided several relaxations for conducting various business activities. Manufacturing units and the agricultural industry have also been allowed to function so that the daily wage workers can sustain their livelihood.
The Home Ministry of India had issued a statement prohibiting all the shops in single and multi-brand malls would not be allowed to operate. Only the standalone shops in the neighborhood are allowed to proceed with some mandatory restrictions requiring people to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.
The various districts of India have been divided into three significant zones. The areas with 0 new cases or no new conformed confirmed cases in the last 21 days have come under the green zone. The areas under the red zone are being assessed on the parameters like the doubling rate, active cases, rate of testing, etc. The areas which are neither under the green or red zone are classified as the orange zones.
RED ZONE- The lockdown in these zones will remain strict, and house to house surveillance will be conducted. Only the essential services will be allowed in these areas. Specific manufacturing and agricultural units are also allowed with proper restrictions and social distancing.
ORANGE ZONE– The interstate movement is allowed, but only of the permitted vehicles. Cars, taxis will be granted with only two persons in the vehicle at a time (besides the driver). On bikes and scooters, pillion riders are not allowed.
GREEN ZONE– Almost all the activities are allowed except the opening of the schools, colleges, malls, restaurants, and large gatherings. Buses are permitted to operate with only 50% capacity.
All the standalone shops need to ensure proper social distancing. No more than five persons are allowed in a shop at a particular instance.
The government has expressed its satisfaction with the effect of the lockdown. It has confirmed that the increase in the number of positive cases in India has been liner and not exponential.
MOVEMENT OF THE STRANDED IMMIGRANTS
Because of the abrupt lockdown, many immigrants were stuck and were unable to go to their homes. Inter-state transport facilities had been barred, and people were left stranded miles away from their homes. The government has come up with a plan and is now on a mission to help these immigrants to reach their respective homes. Several guidelines have been released in this respect:-
- All the states and union territories have been instructed to form a committee and assign nodal authorities to create proper rules and protocols.
- The appointed executives will generate the database of the abandoned persons within their states or union territories.
- If the stranded persons have to move from one state to another, then the authorities are to coordinate with the respective state authorities.
- Proper screening will be conducted of all the stranded persons, and then only those who do not show any symptoms will be allowed to migrate.
- Buses that will be used in the process are required to follow the proper sanitization protocols. Social distancing ruled, and regulations are also to be followed diligently.
COVID-19 is a severe threat, and if proper steps are not followed, the problem can become out of control. No vaccine has been developed, and no cure has been discovered as yet. Therefore, it is vital to take the necessary precautions. The disease is fatal for elderly adults who are suffering from pre-existing ailments like heart diseases, hypertension, blood pressure, etc.
It is not the first time in the history of the world that people are suffering because of a pandemic. With effective management and planning, we can sail through this time effortlessly.