Unsafe Public Transport

Last year, when lockdown to prevent covid-19 spread was imposed, 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.

It is true that sustenance of everyday life will require the wheels of the economy to remain in motion, the government and people cannot take things for granted. Public transport is a key to it. The government needs to turn immediate attention to at least prevent overcrowding especially when the covid-19 cases have seen a surge. It is imperative to realize the situation has begun to take a turn for the worse. In fact, the ministry of health, government of India, said that the coronavirus situation is ‘turning from bad to worse’ and is a huge cause of worry especially for some states. The ministry has stressed, rightly too, that the whole country at risk and nobody should be complacent.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the country was facing an increasingly severe and intense situation, more so in some districts. But the whole country is potentially at risk and therefore all efforts to contain and save lives should be taken, he underlined.

The top health officer said that Hospital and ICU preparations have to be readied and if the cases increase rapidly, the healthcare system would be overwhelmed.

Repeated warnings by experts that India was beginning to imitate countries in Europe that have been struck by a second COVID wave did not seem to have got adequate grip with the country’s pandemic-weary people.

While the health authorities here rule out new variants being responsible for the rapid increase, experts believe a correlation is likely especially what transpired elsewhere across the globe with virus mutating. As per the experts, the variant of the virus arises when it picks up multiple changes in its genome. It is natural for any virus to mutate when as it spread within a population. It demands that every citizen should adhere to the covid-19 appropriate behavior: wear mask, maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places including the public transport.  Some worrying aspects have already set in, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir’s neighborhood. The Himachal Pradesh and Punjab closed down all educational institutions. The government should give serious thought to address the potential hot spots and public transport should count among one. There is need for flexible strategies and constant improvisation against the pandemic.

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