Should the lockdown be ended after the 3 week period announced by the Prime Minister expires on 14th April, or should it be continued thereafter? This is the difficult choice which the authorities in India are facing.
To end the lockdown may result in a surge of coronavirus cases as people come together, thus increasing chances of infections by this highly contagious disease and many more deaths. The Telangana CM wants a continuation of the lockdown, while other CMs favour a partial shutdown after 14th April, but lifting of some restrictions.
To continue the shutdown may result in poor people dying of hunger as they are deprived of food, work, and money, like the immigrant workers who had to trek hundreds of kilometers to their villages. 80-90% of Indian workers are in the unorganized sector of the economy, and these are daily wage earners, having no security of tenure. The shutdown has hit these ( and their families ) the hardest.
Reports are coming from rural areas that farmers cannot sell their produce, as there is no transport to take it to mandis, besides the fact that no one is coming to the mandis. Hence their produce is often perishing unsold. It is a catch 22 situation.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views or opinions of TheRationalDaily in any manner.