Don’t Ignore The Poor

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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi extends the lockdown up to May 3, the Covid-19 positive cases haven’t shot up as expected. It is a little over 10,000 cases which isn’t such a big number for a country of India’s size. This is nothing when compared with the US which has now 500000 confirmed cases. What is more, according to experts, Covid-19 growth curve is showing signs of flattening. However, things will become further clear in the upcoming two weeks. If the cases don’t shoot up steeply, the situation is likely to change for the better.

But at the same time, the less number of positive cases could also be because the testing is not at par with the spread of disease. And more aggressive testing might reveal more cases. However, it is also true if there were more cases, there would have been more deaths of the untested people. But this has not been the case revealing the crisis may not be as grim as believed. This state of affairs augurs well for the country. And hopefully if this trend continues, things should be ok in three weeks. The lockdown will certainly help achieve this objective but this shouldn’t be of a sweeping nature it has been so far. There has to be a trade between ‘Jaan and Jahan’ as articulated by the prime minister Narendra Modi. Around thirty crore who manage their living on a day to day basis can’t be left to fend for themselves. They should either be provided for or some mechanism needs to be evolved whereby ad far as possible economy, or parts of it, are allowed to function.

More than 1.8 million people have now been detected as covid-19 patients globally and the number is continuing to rise. West has so far borne the brunt of the disease, a result of their deeper connectedness with China through trade and travel. The virus has also made inroads into the Arab world. As of now the situation is deeply uncertain. The world is far from getting a handle on the disease unlike China which is in the process of re-opening its economy after controlling and restricting the spread of virus to Wuhan, the city where it originated. China achieved success by imposing a stringent lockdown, a template that other countries, including India are now following. India is doing it on a gigantic scale, locking down a country of 1.3 billion people. Here’s hoping the gamble succeeds. At the same time, it is important that the country looks after its millions of poor who will be most affected.

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