Covid-19 Situation - Should India Go For A Complete Lockdown?

www.indianpsu.com spoke to a cross section of prominent voices who echo divergent views

Posted : 05 May, 2021
Author : Vivek Avasthi
Covid-19 Situation - Should India Go For A Complete Lockdown?

The second wave of Covid-19 has hit India hard. Be it oxygen, hospital beds, Remdesivir or any other medicine, the country is staring at acute shortage of all these. It is a state of complete medical emergency which now gives birth to a very prominent question - whether India should go for a total lockdown for at least the month of May to break the chain? But opinions vary.

Dr Girish Chandra Vaishnava, noted medical practitioner from Delhi-NCR region and Director, Internal Medicine
at Yatharth Super Speciality Hospitals, who advocates a lockdown said the present situation is more grim as 
compared to last year. It is known now that the virus, rather than being surface-borne is now airborne, he added.

“With the UK, Africa and Brazil strains, the daily figure could soon more than double here and reach four to 
five lakh patients per day, if strict measures are not taken immediately. Drastic steps should be taken by the
government which simply means that we need to go in a complete lockdown,” reiterated Dr Vaishnav.

Dilip Chauhan, General Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Chapter of All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC)
echoes similar sentiments. He says "people are dying and this is the time to save precious human lives rather than looking at the interest of businessmen and lifting the economy. A complete lockdown is the need of
the hour". 

On the flip side, noted Public Policy Expert Mohan Shukla has a different view to put forth. He says "instead
of blanket lockdown, authorities should tighten grip on the situation, rigidly enforce Covid do's and dont's,
build health infrastructure on war footing, urgently seek advice of specialists on local and global level and 
all super spreader events should be banned right away". He adds that the need of the hour is future focussed
approach. 

Earlier, FICCI President, Uday Shankar, has written a letter to twenty-five Chief Ministers and Lieutenant 
Governors, urging them to avoid lockdowns and to desist from even imposing partial ones since it would push 
the economy into a downward spiral. 

But situation on the ground is worsening. Small towns and villages, which were earlier left untouched by the 
pandemic, are reporting high number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis. A lockdown can indeed break the chain but it will also have an adverse impact on the economy, including another wave of reverse migration. So, we have to decide, what is more precious, human lives or economy? Another pertinent question is whether to impose a lockdown and let people die of hunger or let the figures rise and let people die of the pandemic.