Guwahati lockdown and fear of community transmission

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The capital city Guwahati, which is also considered as the gateway to Northeast has been under total lockdown since the midnight of June 28.Assam government has announced total lockdown in Kamrup Metro district under which the city falls, after detecting more than 1200 Covid-19 positive cases in Guwahati alone without having any source of infection. This lockdown is more stricter than nationwide lockdown – no grocery shops are opened, nothing at all apart from pharmacies is open. The lockdown was imposed at a time when both Delhi and Mumbai leading the highest number and India officially recorded fourth highest and soon will break all records, with high number of new cases everyday which is higher than what Iran recorded as a nation. Being the national capital Delhi and commercial capital Mumbai can’t even go for total lockdown once again. Inflow of migrants has contributed to increase the numbers and in recent times cases are seen to come. How much this lockdown will help the government in bringing the situation under control – – only time will say. Despite the lockdown there is no let up of the situation and the numbers are increasing. On Saturday night, 777 cases were reported from the city alone which is said to be highest single day spike. The city was trying to breathe a little bit and then suddenly the announcement of lockdown has again put both the economy and its unorganised workers again in despair. It is true that if there is life then there is the world. It seems fragile poor will die of hunger not from disease. The lockdown has already destroyed people’s lives and its economy and now nearby small traders who survived on home grown vegetables and products from nearby villages are completely shattered with the flood problem because everything has been washed away. They cannot handle both problems together. Prior to the lockdown, people’s gathering in shops and market places flouting all social distancing norms caused another concern for the conscious citizens.

Moreover, the relaxation for wholesale and retail groceries on July 5 to 8 also further invite mass gathering of people in the city, which might create another source of community transmission. In addition to this, thousands of workers, especially temporary labourers have gone back to their ancestral villages from the city due to the lockdown as they would not have jobs during these days. There people might cause community transmission in their villages. Villages are lacking in medical facilities, if these increasing number starts appearing in the villages the health system would have to face another major challenge. The success of lockdown can only be analyzed on the completion of another six days. This is not the time to discuss or criticize anyone rather it is time to come forward and put our collective efforts .We have to stop this transmission once the lockdown is lifted. City has to come back to its normal life to meet its peculiar economic demand when number of death happening in flood has become another serious matter otherwise the situation will lead into more economic and humanitarian crisis.

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