Several states in India have imposed complete lockdowns while others have gone for partial restrictions in the wake of increasing Covid 19 cases in the country. Despite 98 per cent of the country in some sort of restrictions, the Narendra Modi Government is not heeding to the calls for a national lockdown which experts feel could subdue the second wave of Covid 19.
Health experts, opposition leaders and several others are calling for a national lockdown, stating that the lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the states was not enough to overcome the crisis. Despite all the pressure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not for imposing a national lockdown, fearing its economic toll. The first lockdown in March 2020 had already devastated the country leading to a humanitarian crisis.
The call for National lockdown gains strength with the country’s daily covid 19 cases and deaths increasing. Moreover the World Health Organsiation said on Monday, May 10, that the B.1.617 variant first identified in India was classified as a variant of global concern. WHO technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove said that they classify B.1.617 as a variant of concern at a global level.
White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr Anthony Fauci last week had advised Indian authorities to shut down the country. Stating that several States in the country have down so, he asked the Modi Government to impose a national lockdown to break the chain of transmission. He stressed that the best way to break the chain is through shut down.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the only option for the country to come out of Covid second wave was a complete lockdown.
I just want to make it clear that a lockdown is now the only option because of a complete lack of strategy by GOI.
They allowed, rather, they actively helped the virus reach this stage where there’s no other way to stop it.
A crime has been committed against India.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 4, 2021
States on lockdown
New Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have a full lockdown in place. Meanwhile, Gujarat, Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana have adopted strict containment policies in pockets and on select time bands. The Other states such as ladakh, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh have imposed restrictions in certain districts.
The Indian Medical Association has also called for a “complete, well-planned, pre-announced” national lockdown. The IMA said that they have been insisting for the last one month on the need for complete, well-planned preannounced national lockdown rather than few states declaring complete lockdown ranging for 10 days to 15 days.
IMA National President Dr. J A Jayalal and Honorary Secretary General Dr Jayesh M Lele said that a lockdown was needed for getting breathing time for the health care infrastructure to recoup and replenish both the material and manpower. “Lockdown will break the chain of devastating spread. However, the Central government had refused to head to implement lockdown resulting in the mounting of new patients beyond four lakhs every day and the number of moderate to severe cases are increasing to nearly 40 percent. Sporadic night curfews have not done any good. Life is precious than the economy,” they said.
The IMA said that they were astonished to see the extreme lethargy and inappropriate actions from the Ministry of Health in combating the agonizing crisis born out of the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic. “The collective consciousness, proactive cognizance, and requests made by IMA and other professional learned colleagues are put into the dust bin, and often without realizing the ground realities the decisions are taken,” they blamed.
Despite taking a call on imposing lockdown at the national level to curb the spread of Covid 19, the Centre has directed the states to impose restrictions on its own.