Experts fear increase of corona cases after 3 May

Chennai: People seem not to take the extension of the lockdown as seriously as they did during the first phase. Despite the tight vigil by police across the State, many can be seen roaming on the streets. It is widely felt that the attitude in following the lockdown has changed.

While many expected that there would be annoucement about some relaxation of lockdown on 20 April, the State government’s decision that the existing curfew would continue is said to have resulted in some sort of uneasiness among the public, especially daily wagers.

Nagaraj, a construction worker, said that his family managed the first lockdown but is struggling in the second phase.

“As soon as it was announced, work came to an abrupt halt in the construction site I was working. Initially when it was said that works would resume after 21 April, we were happy that we would earn. But, the State government’s decision that the existing norms would continue came as a big blow. During the first lockdown I spent the money that I had, now I have borrowed some money. I do not know how I am going to spend the next two weeks. Hopefully, the curfew is not extended after 3 May,” he added.

Sundararaman, a social activist said that people think that since they have crossed the 21 days quarantine period they will not get infected.

“It must be remembered, Tamilnadu is still reporting Covid-19 positive cases which means that the spread has not been contained yet. What is more worrying is that in a few cases it is said that most patients testing positive were asymptomatic. This is more like a timebomb which is ticking to explode any minute. People should not take this lightly, all the precautions listed out by the government should be adhered to”‘ he said.

Sundararaman however added that people cannot be blamed as these are desparate times.”There are persons who roam without reason, but there are those who step out of their house as they find it difficult to survive without money to buy essentials. Government and local administration should take necessary measures to ensure that people meet their basic needs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tamilnadu Medical Council, former head, M Balasubramanian said even if the curfew is relaxed after 3 May, people should follow social distancing.

“It will take at least another three to six months to completely control the spread of the virus. Till then people should follow social distancing and personal hygiene. I understand it would be difficult to keep people in their houses after 3 May as it would affect them economically. But when they set out for work, they should ensure that no place gets crowded. Everyone should compulsorily wear mask and wash their hands at regular intervals. It is the unorganised sector that has taken a huge hit,” he said.

He further said more awareness should be created among the public before relaxing the lockdown. “Proper social distancing should be followed at public places and offices. Places that have high chances of getting crowded such as theatres, malls, temples should not be opened till things are under control,” he said.

 

Balasubramani Muniyandi