Coronavirus, no doubt, is a dangerous epidemic. It has killed nearly around 9000 people, and more than 222,000 cases have been reported around the world. These are extraordinary times. And they call for extraordinary measures.
The administration has imposed restrictions on public movement in Srinagar district in bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection.
The decision, as per the official spokesman, has been taken in the wake of a Khaniyar resident, who had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 16, testing positive for coronavirus.
The orders have been issued under Section 144 of CrPC as a preventive measure aimed at containing spread of the infection in the district.
The restrictions order states that public movement including pedestrian and transport and operation of business and other kinds of establishments will be restricted across the district till further notice.
The locking down of the Kashmir, hopefully temporarily, is vital given the government seems to banking on hope to contain the coronavirus.
While there is no tried and tested method for combating the novel coronavirus, shutting down borders, restricting people’s movements and social distancing have all been proven to slow down the spread.
China’s total lockdown on its virus epicentre province of Wuhan until the peak of the spread was over also provides an example of success.
In a study on the spread and fatality rates of Covid-19 by a team from the University of Oxford and Nuffield College in the United Kingdom, the province of Lodi in Italy where the outbreak in that country started recorded fewer cases (1,133) than the province of Bergamo (2,368), which became most affected as of March 13, because Lodi invoked social distancing measures much earlier than Bergamo.
Kashmir’s lockdown may be severe, but such measures are required to contain and eliminate the raging pathogen. However, the authorities cannot take eye off the fact that is imperative for it to ensure that people get all the essential commodities and there is not a situation where desperation is fallout.
At the same time, the success of the government’s plans depends on people of Kashmir Valley. Without their cooperation, these efforts will be futile. People would be advised to trust the government and its methods to tide over the present epidemic especially keeping in view the health infrastructure in the Valley.