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Preventive machinery

Preventive machinery

As the Coronavirus count rises, restricting the spread is the prime concern. Everything that can be a medium to proliferate the virus has to be brought to a complete halt. The Central Government took the decision of suspending all visas barring special cases followed by the Delhi government ordering closure of all schools, colleges and cinema halls. Even so, social gatherings are something not restricted to those three. Through health advisories in newspapers and over the radio, the government is urging people to avoid social gatherings amidst a slew of precautionary measures that can restrict the spread of Covid-19. Invoking the Epidemics Diseases Act, 1897, the Centre has directed all states to implement instructions as and when needed. Quarantine centres have been set up and hospitals have been alerted to create isolation wards. A huge monitoring process is also scanning people for the infection and narrowing down those infected to prevent the spread. Our entire health machinery is thus earnestly focussing on preventing the outbreak from taking a dangerous form that would be utterly disastrous for India given its population density and level of average hygiene. The Health Ministry has naturally directed all national federations to avoid large gatherings in sports events. Towards the same concern, the BCCI on Thursday suspended the IPL till April 15. Given how cricket's a festival for India, conduction of IPL at a time when cases of people infected are rising every day would have been an outright disaster. In fact, the impact of Covid-19 in Europe has been so intense that UEFA had to suspend competitions even at a crucial stage in the season. While the IPL has been suspended, the ongoing India-South Africa ODI series will be played behind closed doors after the Uttar Pradesh government asked the BCCI not to go ahead with the second ODI against South Africa in Lucknow in wake of the outbreak.

Sporting events have a very large footfall. These events can widely propel the spread of the virus, given how unidentified cases may exist. While it is understood that these events in themselves have a specific schedule that they must adhere to, a review of the same is required in the wake of a pandemic. Financial losses are still better than human casualties. It is crystal clear that the global economy will be hugely impacted as the world combats the pandemic but sound human reasoning must prevail in these situations where exercising precaution is paramount. The Delhi government has banned all sporting events and activities in the city. The same should be done by states seeing the rise in the number of persons infected. A circumstance may arise where the IPL has to be played behind closed doors, and the same would be advisable given the paramountcy of restricting the spread. India has so far exhibited laudable awareness to screen travellers and isolate those infected with 78 cases and one death till yesterday. But when it comes to a virus, there can be no rest till its absolute end of the outbreak. While sporting events are one, restaurants, bars, pubs, markets, etc., are other places that witness immense daily footfall. Promoting the mandate of self-quarantine is good but only till it is adhered to. Should there be a sharp rise in numbers, social gatherings in all spheres would have to be restricted. It has to be reiterated that chances of overcoming the Covid-19 with our preventive machinery are far greater than our curative one. That should sum up our approach to the pandemic.

(Image from indiatvnews.com)

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