For six days in a row, India has registered more than a lakh Covid positive cases making it the second-highest Covid infected nation, just behind the United States. This isn’t a status we should be proud of!
One doesn’t have to be a rocket Scientist to figure out why this is happening .We know what can be done but, somehow, seem reluctant to take some simple and effective measures which can make a huge difference.
We can forget about the politicians who, driven by an irresistible urge to win elections, don’t seem to mind if their supporters get infected. If political parties can spend crores of rupees on organizing rallies, they can afford to distribute free masks at the venue of a rally. Why don’t they ask their organizers and supporters to maintain social distancing? Why don’t they begin their rallies asking the people to wear the masks, and speaking about the precautions necessary to thwart Covid?
Then we have the custodians of our destiny here and hereafter who invite lakhs of devotees to take a holy dip, wash away all the sins and book a better next life – masks and social distancing are farthest from their mind.
But what about the educated, urban youth? They watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stars ranging from Amitabh Bachchan to Kapil Sharma and sports icons from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohali making fervent appeals to use masks but show brazen disregard for this. They are part of those instrumental in the spread of Covid infection in big cities like Delhi.
I live in Mayur Vihar Phase -1. After 7 pm Sikka Plaza ,a small place of eateries and fast food chain outlets is full of hundreds of young people, 90% of them without masks. They, relatively well dressed, sit around for an hour or more, eat and scrupulously leave their used plates and glasses on the tables!
There is a DDA park, Vivekananda Park, on the side of Sahyog apartments which is visited by around 2000 morning walkers between 6 am to 10 am. All without masks. You can see a few dozen folks in their early and late twenties playing badminton in make shift badminton courts, made without any permission, all of them without masks. Then one can see regular senior citizens who chant hymns in groups, again without masks.
If the LG is the main Administrator of Delhi, as the Courts say, why isn’t he at the forefront fighting Covid -19? The Police come under him; why can’t he send 2-3 policemen to each Sikka plaza-like place in the evenings and fine every unmasked person on the spot. Those who can’t pay should be shamed, give them a broom and ask them to sweep the roads or the parks for half an hour.
In Khan Market, the shops don’t allow customers who don’t have masks on. Outside each shop, there are sanitizers installed on a stand operated by foot which ensures sanitization by customers before entering the shops. This should be made compulsory in all shopping areas.
Night curfew from10pm to 6pm announced last week is an example of tokenism; it gets some headline in prime time TV news, causes inconvenience to citizens especially those facing medical emergencies but contributes very little in checking Covid infection; it doesn’t wait till 10pm to spread.
Free of cost vaccination to all above 21 years through mohalla clinics, dispensaries and government and private hospitals can go a long way in slowing down the spike in Covid positive cases in Delhi.
Organizing camps at different residential complexes with the help of RWAs to give Covid vaccine jabs is the easiest way of vaccinating everyone. Vaccination must be undertaken on a war footing. SURENDRA KUMAR