Letters

Letters to the Editor — April 11, 2020

Managing the pandemic

With much of the world in the grip of the pandemic, there is growing apprehension about the extent of devastation the virus will leave behind (‘World’ page, “‘Half a billion people face poverty due to virus’,” April 10). What the globe is experiencing today is an extraordinary situation where even most of the developed world is reeling under the viral onslaught. Their sheer helplessness in not having anything ready off the shelf to deal with the virus medically has only aggravated their desperation. The impact of the ongoing disruptions to their economies can never be assessed until normalcy returns, but it would be on an unprecedented scale. When they face so much disruption, it would be naive to expect them to reach out to the developing countries to the level expected of them.

Kamal Laddha,

Bengaluru

The Indian government will have to act fast with relief measures to bring about some semblance of sanity in various critical areas such as health, infrastructure and employment. Countries hitherto adopting a give-and-take policy could be forced to adopt protectionism in a more strident manner. Our exports may get impacted. We may have to pay a higher price for import of raw materials not indigenously manufactured. Our dependence on China for raw materials required in the pharmaceutical and electrical fields could cost us dear. The return of expatriates due to job losses is going to hit us hard, when we are struggling with an employment crisis. The idea of globalisation in the present environment may look far fetched when the globe is under a recessionary trend. Instead of waiting for COVID-19 to abate, the government should set up a high-level task force straightaway — made up of financial experts and representatives from various industries — to handle the economy. ‘Make in India’, now in slumber, needs to be given a new lease of life (OpEd page, ‘Parley’ – “Will COVID-19 affect the course of globalisation?”, April 10).

V. Subramanian,

Chennai

There appear to be differences of opinion among State governments and the Centre on many issues related to the COVID-19 containment strategy such as the lockdown period and ensuring social welfare. The time has come to act in tandem. Having different sets of lockdowns will only result in confusion and increase the risk of the virus spreading. There needs to be a clear message on this (Page 1, “Odisha becomes first State to extend lockdown till April 30”, April 10).

There are also attempts by private and public organisations to make cheaper ventilators. The government needs to bring all such organisations under one umbrella and provide its support.

There also appears to be some resistance to self-declaration in some parts of India. Insurance companies may be asked to roll out a COVID insurance model. Another step would be to reward those who call the health authorities on their own with some incentive. The award can also be given to informers such as neighbours and shopkeepers. The identity of patient and informer must be kept secret.

Awareness of COVID-19 is important — the ground reality can shock a person — so a mass campaign on every possible platform is a must. The message of self-isolation, quarantine, hygiene should be conveyed in an easy to understand way and in a number of local languages.

Rishin Pal,

New Delhi

It is sad that the iconic dabbawalas of Mumbai are staring at starvation due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown (Page 1, “Lockdown robs Mumbai’s dabbawalas of lunch”, April 10). The 5,000-odd dabbawalas have been a symbol of Mumbai’s resilience to any crisis, man-made or natural, and it would certainly have been a difficult decision to make as they have never stopped their service.

It is all the more painful that these committed men have now been left to struggle. Perhaps their services can be used in a better way as they form a vital link in the great city.

R. Sivakumar,

Chennai

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:08:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-april-11-2020/article31312621.ece

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