Letters to the Editor — April 6, 2020

The pandemic battle

Amid the outbreak of the global novel coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent imposition of a pan-India lockdown, people are divided based on two opinions regarding revocation of the lockdown. A section, economically disadvantaged, unquestionably demands that it be revoked after 21 days irrespective of the situation, while the other, largely the middle class and government employees, wants its continuation until a satisfactory result.

A majority of those opposing the lockdown are those facing extreme poverty.

The lockdown poses a threat to their lives. I wonder what would happen if such a lockdown continues beyond the date.

It is sad to see people who have fixed income being indifferent to others’ sufferings especially those who have lost employment. An educated Indian is likely to stand by the government’s side but it is simultaneously a must that he or she shows equal empathy for others who are not similarly situated and extend aid if possible.

Shayan Das,

Gobardanga, West Bengal

At a time when over 180 countries are engaged in an all-out struggle to derail the march of the novel coronavirus, with India being no exception, India’s top leader should be advocating scientific knowledge on how to contain and prevent the spread of the virus among his people (Editorial page, “Only through the prism of science”, April 4).

Had he appeared on television while addressing the nation wearing a protective mask — even for a second — the message of that symbolism would have been louder and clearer. Unfortunately, these appearances have only created leeway for his many admirers to peddle pseudo-scientific concoctions. This amounts to trivialising the grim situation the country is in.

One cannot possibly fight superstition and the coronavirus outbreak simultaneously. If all of us strictly adhere to and and scrupulously follow the precautionary measures suggested and guidelines issued by the scientific community and the medical fraternity, there is a greater chance of stopping the silent microbe.

Abdul Assis P.A.,

Thrissur, Kerala

Natural disasters and pandemics are not fought by governments and their machinery alone. It requires the seeding and nurturing of private institutions and even, more importantly, non-governmental institutions (NGOs). There are a number of them engaged in health services, covering health education and awareness, dedicated groups for the elderly, etc. In its drive to weed out NGOs, apparently out of sync with the government’s social policies and tenets, there has been a drive to bring in tighter regulations on their funding and compliance. There can be no quarrel with this, yet the summary approach may have dampened the functioning of key NGOs.

We may be missing the organised and trained contribution of these entities. The time that we review the role of voluntary organisations and work out a more pragmatic architecture for their participation has come as they do largely provide last-mile delivery.

R. Narayanan,

Navi Mumbai

How to use masks

In these trying times around the world, many have started to use surgical or other masks to stave off the possibility of contracting coronavirus infection. But, in India, and especially in Kerala — this includes the medical and health-care fraternity — many can be seen practising improper use of the mask.

One critical point missed seems to the fact that many are not maintaining the double-layer or triple-layer arrangement of the mask cloth to ensure protection. By stretching the cloth/fibre material of the mask and extending it below the chin, not much protection can be expected by wearing the mask this way. We must remember that the size of the virus is smaller than the pore of the cloth used in masks and an extra layer or two obviously heightens user protection. This has to be highlighted.

Dr. Jayasekharan V.P.,

Payyanur, Kannur, Kerala

A letter from the Editor

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:35:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-april-6-2020/article31264496.ece

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