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With the cases increasing after lifting the lockdown, some state governments are considering sanctions again. Rajasthan has seen an increase in cases since 1 June and has ordered the borders to be sealed for a week. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has again warned of a lockout in case of overcrowding and violation of social far-reaching measures. The Delhi government is now reviewing its decision to open malls, eateries and religious places.
Returning to the semi-locks, causing huge damage to the economy, is not possible this time under the aegis of state governments. Social disturbances are indeed difficult in India’s cramped living and working quarters, especially for the urban working class. It is easy for the government to make the lockout easier because it creates the impression that it leads to social disturbances because people are not free to move and cannot spread the infection in this way.
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This spares the government from the more complex, labor and capital intensive tasks required to maintain a new normal such as testing, contact tracing, control zones, more beds and doctors. Many people have yet to receive or internalize the message that masks can prevent the spread of infection to a significant extent. Instead of running public transport at full capacity, partial congestion services have been run in many cities. The tracing and content zoning effort has been porous and aromatic.
Lockdown creates a false sense of decency and security. It is about service providers unable to transfer both essential and non-essential types of services. The real governance challenge is to learn to work with new generic and developing strategies and apply them on the ground. Governments that abstain from this paradigm shift will pay huge economic and health care costs at the end of this epidemic.
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