Virus Challenge

On Sunday India observed Janata curfew to ensure social distancing necessary to halt the spread of deadly Coronavirus. People stayed home in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call. People across India clapped, rang bells, and blew conch shells in response to Prime Minister Modi’s call for thanking those at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus. Some people resorted to firing crackers. While thanking people for Janata curfew Prime Minister Modi, in a tweet,  said that the one day shutdown was “the start of a long struggle ahead against coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, as the total number of positive cases in India rose to around 400, the Centre issued an advisory to all states directing them to lockdown 75 districts where coronavirus cases have been reported. The death toll has risen to nine after three deaths were reported from Gujarat, Bihar and Mumbai, respectively. Various states too have been put under lockdown, including New Delhi.

The government has also grounded all domestic flights, suspended train, metro and inter-state passenger travel till March 31. The Health Ministry has, however, denied community transmission of coronavirus yet, saying the plan to fight the spread of Covid-19 was working.

In J&K too government has announced a lockdown to fight the novel coronavirus disease. Government spokesman Rohit Kansal in a statement ordered shutdown of all establishments and services except essential commodities and services throughout the union territory up to March 31. On Sunday, curfew like restrictions were imposed to prevent free movement of people. Barricades, including concertina wire, were drawn across the roads at several places across the Valley, including in Srinagar. Police also used vehicles fitted with public address systems to announce the restrictions and appealed the people to stay indoors. But a predominant majority of people voluntarily stayed indoors and thus cooperated with the government efforts to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

While people have been cooperative, government has yet to make up its mind on restoration of 4G internet. The extension of the ban has made Kashmiris furious. With coronavirus making its inroads into the Valley with the detection of one COVID-19 positive case in Srinagar, the people expected the government to restore internet speed to enable people to read about the disease online and take preventive measures.  It is now time that the Government does restore 4G. People’s cooperation does need a reciprocal action.

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