BENGALURU: Starting 8 pm on Tuesday, the city will go into a lockdown on the lines of the first one, in March. While some Bengalureans feel this is a much-needed move and should, in fact, be extended, others point out that the lockdown is not preventing the spread of the Covid-19 infection, but only slowing it down. Here is what some prominent city residents suggest for better preparation for this fight:
Shan Re, artist
It’s time that each and every one of us becomes responsible, wears a mask, protects himself/herself as well as others. Secondly , it is important to follow social distancing norms. At this time we need to stay home and safe guard our physical and mental health. As far as I am concerned I am transforming this period of uncertainty and unpredictability into powerful narratives with my artistic vision.
Dr Jyotsna Srikanth, musician and arts strategist
It’s good that the government is locking down Bengaluru, with cases increasing exponentially, and contact tracing becoming difficult. The government must make use of technology to enhance effectiveness. Home quarantine is being adopted to treat mild and asymptotic cases. But the system is driven by manual effort. Home-quarantined cases can be remotely monitored centrally by enforcing geo-fencing and continuously checking body temperature. It will also protect healthcare workers from getting infected. This also will help in tracing contacts once the international travel opens up regularly for passengers, else this will further increase the magnitude of the problem. Also, a lockdown for one week isn’t enough to control the spread, it should be extended for at least a month. Once all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases are traced, quarantined and treated, efficient contact tracing at the interstate borders and airports must be enforced to stop new cases from entering the state.
Dr Brunda M S, consultant, Internal Medicine, Aster CMI Hospital
We started well in Karnataka when coronavirus attacked us initially, with adequate measures. The problem started when the lockdown was relaxed by the government and despite repeated requests, social distancing went for a toss. This time, we have to strictly follow rules and stay at home. Those who have milder symptoms need to follow self-isolation and report to hospital only if symptoms are worsening. In addition to the Covid Care centre on Tumkur road, we need another in the heart of the city with the same strength of about 10,000 beds. That would be proper preparation for the worst. Besides this, community isolation wards should be encouraged in apartments and other places under observation of healthcare providers.
Kuncheria Maratt, partner, Uru Brewpark
We will shut operations and support the government’s decision in the hope that they come out with industry-friendly measures when things get better. We hope things get better in September. We request for an extension of financial year 2019-20 to Sept 2020, GST exemption on restaurants for two years, streamlining the number of permissions required to start a restaurant which serves alcohol, excise allowing kegging of craft beer, and allowing takeaway of craft beer wherein people can come and fill craft beer in growlers.
Jishnu Dasgupta, musician, Swarathma
The primary point here is that lockdowns don’t prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection, they only slow it down. In view of the rising cases and inadequate infrastructure, the first priority is to ensure the government machinery works in cooperation to prepare for cases: ambulances, hospital beds, ventilators, etc to be augmented to meet the need.