Taking care of oneself means taking care of the other

The total coronavirus caseload in the country surged to 10, 03,832, while the death toll mounted to 25,602 with the highest number of 687 fatalities recorded in a day, the data updated at 8 am on Friday showed. A total of 22,942 people have recuperated in the past 24 hours, the highest number of recoveries in a day, taking the total number of recovered cases to 6,35,756, while there are 3,42,473 active COVID-19 cases presently.
As Covid-19 cases continue to surge in new regions, India is witnessing another round of local lockdowns, where state governments have imposed restrictions in large parts of their state or key cities. The 68-day national lockdown offered several lessons to the country. One, restrictions can slow the spread of the infection but not.
As a last resort, various states and UTs have cracked the whip. A lockdown is in place in Bengaluru and Pune. Uttar Pradesh has decided to enforce stringent restrictions during weekends. The Punjab government has barred all public gatherings while restricting social gatherings to five persons and wedding functions to 30 guests instead of 50. There is nothing wrong if states/cities want to impose lockdowns to control infections. Such autonomy is in keeping with India’s federal setup. But any lockdown-related decision must be taken based on a comprehensive assessment.
Of the 687 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 266 are from Maharashtra, 104 from Karnataka, 69 from Tamil Nadu, 58 from Delhi, 40 from Andhra Pradesh, 34 from Uttar Pradesh, 23 from West Bengal, 17 from Bihar, 16 from Jammu and Kashmir, 10 each from Telangana and Gujarat and nine from Punjab. Rajasthan has reported eight fatalities followed by Madhya Pradesh with seven deaths, Jharkhand four, Haryana three, Assam, Kerala and Odisha two each while Chhattisgarh, Goa, and Puducherry have registered a fatality each.
The pandemic is here to stay, for now, and living in denial defies logic. The process has been difficult, anxiety-prone and stressful, and not much is expected to change soon. Defiance is not the answer, compliance is. When the whole of humanity is affected, taking care of oneself means taking care of the other. This is a time of personal sacrifice for the public good. Politicians and public figures must also lead by example, driving public support for science through their actions. This includes wearing masks in public and partaking in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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