The beginning of the week-long strict lockdown on Thursday offers a glimpse of hope to the entire nation. Shops and markets in the city remained closed. Most of the roads remained almost empty as traffic was thin. The first day of the lockdown was strict enough as members of the law enforcement agencies arrested 550 people and fined 274 others for coming out of their houses without ‘valid reasons.’ As to why, the city roads wore an even more deserted look on the second day of the lockdown. Very few private cars plied the streets. Many busy city points even saw no movement of transport. People with seemingly far below the normal level of awareness are being compelled to follow the lockdown rules.
Whatever be the reason, we believe that the countrywide strict lockdown should have come much earlier. The government should have incorporated the provision of punishment or realising fines for disobeying the rules of lockdown that were imposed on earlier occasions. Then the Covid-19 mortality and infection rates would have been much lower than the current ones.Health officials on Thursday reported 143 deaths, the highest in a day since the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in the country in March last year. They also reported 8,301 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours preceding 8:00 am on the same day. The harsh measures, if needed, should be continued for an extended period. Although lockdown has its downsides, the right to life comes first. The controversy surrounding the lockdown pinpoints two questions – the economic cost and the loss of freedom. But, temporary economic loss and curtailment of freedom should be accepted with good grace as only those can save lives. People should accept the temporary inconveniences and cooperate with the authorities for their own interest and that of the nation.