Letters to the Editor — May 5, 2020

In stages

The total lockdown introduced throughout the country since March 25 encompassed a lockdown of the economy as well. Unorganised labourers and migrant workers engaged in construction work, brick-making, quarrying, plumbing and even electrical work, were all displaced. Therefore, there was a need and necessity to restart economic activities step by step. But the relaxation of the lockdown, from May 4 in Tamil Nadu State, is hasty as the State government has actually opened the flood gates of most activities (Page 1, “COVID-19 cases cross 3,000 in Tamil Nadu”, May 4). Most shops, establishments and markets seem to be open almost to the level of near normalcy irrespective of the colour-coded zones. People have been thronging these establishments with scant regard for social distancing. The government seems to have prioritised the restoration of economic activities over containment. There is a grave danger of being too over-confident and bypassing the need to exit the lockdown in a calibrated way.

Manoharan Muthuswamy,

Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu

With additional COVID-19 cases originating from the Koyambedu cluster in Chennai, and its subsequent dispersal to neighbouring districts, Tamil Nadu has, in one fell swoop, squandered all the painstaking gains achieved during the lockdown of the previous weeks. From the gleaming skyscrapers of Singapore to the slums of Mumbai and the unregulated establishments in places such as Koyambedu, the Achilles heel has been the supreme indifference of the authorities to bringing in some sense of safety for and beneficial regulation of workers and traders. This callous disregard has now landed all of us back at square number one in the COVID-19 game of snakes and ladders. Unless and until we take care of the workers at the lower end of the spectrum and improve their working conditions, we could face great difficulty in containing the virus.

G. Parameswaran,


Liquor queues

Visuals of long queues, in many instances braving the scorching heat and dust, in front of liquor shops that were opened after a gap of 40 days of lockdown are nauseating. Tipplers thronging these outlets waiting for their turn as if they are waiting for a life-saving commodity is a sight that is strange. It is already very hard for the authorities to enforce social distancing and other norms related to the novel coronavirus containment strategy. The purpose of the lockdown will be defeated if such disorder is allowed to spread. The unabated pace of the pandemic warrants strict adherence to guidelines. In addition, in many instances, spending money on liquor will be at the cost of the nutritional security of the person’s family.

Dr. D.V.G. Sankararao,

Nellimarla, Andhra Pradesh

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 10:37:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-may-5-2020/article31504564.ece

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