When lockdown to prevent covid-19 spread was imposed in March, the shutdown of the public transport was central to it. Also, when restrictions were eased, the public transport resumption was not among the activities allowed immediately. The administration held many meetings with transporters, drivers, and others associated with the sector to educate them about dos and don’ts. Services of leading experts were utilized. The government was perfectly right in the endeavor.
Can COVID-19 spread through public transport systems? It was difficult to answer this question without data then and even today when relaxations are aplenty. Definitely, also, it cannot also be discarded as implausible. To shut down the public transport was commendable on part of the government before it could contribute to the spread at the beginning. Many restrictions that were in place since the beginning of the pandemic are still intact to a large extent but could be continued now for various reasons. The decision to unlock public transport was to some extent inevitability. However as the things stand now, the easing of public transport restrictions is witness to violations of distancing norms. Ensuring vehicles are sanitised is not to speak of also for varied reasons including funds because providing for such amenities will cost the government a significant amount of funds. Even the administration has been found wanting in ensuring the owners of the vehicles carry out the sanitization. However, the violations of social distancing and goby to wearing face coverings such as masks should not be allowed especially when the cases of covid-19 are spiking. The J&K already has surpassed 75000 infection tally and numbers are sprinting everyday especially in Jammu and Srinagar districts. Except for an odd day, there have been continuous cases in excess of one thousand since September 4. While is true that cowering in fear of the virus can no longer be an option, as sustenance of everyday life will require the wheels of the economy to be set into motion, the government and people cannot take things for granted. The easing of activities has been considered an economic unlock rather than a clean chit from the pestilence. Both the government and the public must treat the transition in a manner that makes it risk-free for all. The ICMR recently pointed out the complacency of people concerning hygiene and flouting of advisories are partly responsible for the surge in the country. Advisories need to be taken seriously as nearly 1200 lives have been lost in J&K alone and one million across the globe.