17th May 2020 10:05:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Amid the current pandemic-dictated times, when most aspects of the national socio-economic life are distressingly uncertain, there was perhaps very little doubt that the lockdown will extend. MHA on Sunday evening through fresh guidelines made it clear that lockdown 4.0 beginning Monday will continue till May 31 and there will be ‘significant relaxations’ that will differentiate it from earlier phases. There is an obvious reason why the announcements came on such late hours of the last date of the lockdown’s third phase. This, undoubtedly can be connected to the fact that it was a very hard choice for the decision takers to make this time particularly compared to previous lockdown decisions, since, standing on the 54th day, a situation has reached when there are unavoidable compulsions – fast return to normalcy due to the mounting economic needs and at the same time taking care of the harsh reality that the counts in terms of cases and deaths are breaking records each day. And given the statistics on Sunday, which say that India has overtaken China’s infection tally which is now 90000+ and deaths sprinting towards 3000 mark, it can be said that the added relaxations are ‘bold’.

Reading the guidelines, it’s apparent that the two important takeaways will be full freedom to the states for making fresh demarcation to decide the statuses of the zones  as per their respective Covid situation and permission for both inter-state and intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses. The decision of not allowing to open areas which draw a large gatherings such as shopping malls, entertainment parks, cinemas & theatres, bars, auditoriums etc. and continuation of the ban on social, political, cultural & religious congregations was also necessary since the looming fear factor of ‘reaching the peak’ in June or thereafter was too serious to ignore. 

Arunachal, thanks to the ‘green’ tag it is enjoying since beginning of the lockdown’s third phase is already in a comfortable position and the new relaxations will give further opportunities to return to near-normalcy and the citizens will be able to engage themselves in routine economic and other necessary activities that had remained halted so far. But, the vital message that is ought to be realised by the state’s citizens is that these added freedom will actually mean added responsibilities. It’s practically impossible for the administration to play the 24x7 watchdog role and a section of citizens who are contemplating that it’s all over and there is no further need to stick to social distancing or maintaining the redefined hygiene protocols will be misjudging the actualities.

WHO’s message “Coronavirus is here to stay indefinitely” must be digested in total. Enjoy and utilise the hard-earned normalcy, but responsibly.  

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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