Everything has been opened as there are economic constraints as well as problems in the lives of marginalised people. But we also see, from the experiences of several countries, that if you do not follow the health safety rules against the coronavirus, you may face a catastrophe. We all need to work together, learning from the experiences of these countries. More importance should be given to keeping the number of patients low. Hospitals need to ensure that they do not overflow with patients. Or else, there will be nothing left to do then.
If we cannot compel the people to follow the health safety rules, it will be another failure. However, we should not give up.
As for opening the roads, transport owners, workers, passengers, the health directorate and the administration – all have to hold small meetings. They need to be integrated. People need to be made partners in fulfilling their responsibilities so that they monitor themselves. Only then will there be a solution to the problem to a good extent.
Responsibilities should be distributed in small parts to all, including passengers, owners, the health directorate, the police and the administration. Local representatives, members of the Union Parishad should be involved in the process at small bus stands, besides the bus terminals. Public health issues need to be tackled jointly. They cannot be solved by law or force alone. It is better if we can involve everyone in tackling the virus. If not, the infection will increase by leaps and bounds. The number of patients is already much higher now.
Besides, individual awareness is very important. Everyone should wear a mask, wash their hands with soap and keep a distance from others.
Those who go out of the house should take a bath and wear clean clothes straight after coming back home. It should be ensured that the clothes of other members of the household do not mix with the clothes of the person going out. The situation will worsen further if we do not deal with this crisis with the awareness and involvement of all.
M Mushtuq Husain is an adviser at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research (IEDCR).