Although it is obvious that coronavirus crisis is far from over, with an average 3,000 new cases of infection daily, people across the board are gradually throwing off the shackles of home quarantine. It is because a majority of our people cannot afford to stay home for long without doing anything. They must go out to save their business, job or simply to eke out a living. Taking all these into account, the government has rightly opted for gradual reopening of various sectors. Instead of putting the entire country into lockdown, the government took a brilliant decision of enforcing lockdown in epidemic-prone areas only. No doubt, it has helped save life in one hand, livelihood on the other.
For example, reopening of business has led to resumption of economic activities in most areas. As a result, informal economy workers, most of whom had lost their source of income after the enforcement of countrywide restriction on movement, are now slowly but steadily getting back on their feet.On the other hand, lockdown in highly-infected areas, where direct food assistance are being provided to low-and middle-income people, are helping us to contain the spread of the virus. It has been evident that lockdown in some of the red-zone areas has led to a substantial decrease in the number of active coronavirus patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis. Delicately handling issues that come between life and livelihood is indeed a dilemma. Both life and livelihood are intertwined and equally important. So we must tread carefully. We cannot afford to stay hunkered down in fear of catching the virus, nor can we afford to get carried away with the premature assumption that the danger period is over. Striking a delicate balance between the two is a must.