Guwahatians Offer Varied Opinions on Effectiveness of Lockdown 4.0
GUWAHATI: With a hint of hustle returning to the streets of Guwahati, the city can now be seen going back to normalcy. Restaurants are now open for takeaways, stores are now open for customers, business establishments have opened up and so have offices, which are now working with full capacity.
With more relaxations in place and the fourth stage of the nationwide lockdown moving towards a conclusion, G Plus took to the streets of Guwahati to find out what people had to say about the effectiveness of lockdown 4.0 and whether the lockdown should be extended.
The number of novel coronavirus cases in Assam is inching closer towards the 1,000 mark. In such a situation, a woman said, “If the lockdown is extended, it would have many pros and cons. If it gets extended, there will be no community spread of the disease but it would cause problems for those who work for daily wages.”
“I think in this condition, the lockdown could be extended in the entire country due to the manner in which cases are on the rise. However, it is a positive sign for us that most of these cases are coming from quarantine centres. So the government might give us some relaxation,” said Umesh Singh, General Manager of Eastrends store on GS Road.
On being asked whether it is right for people to venture out on the streets, he said, “From Day 1, the government has been saying that people must come out only if necessary. We don’t see many people outside but when you go into the sub-lanes and the by-lanes a virtual celebration is going on there!”
On this, he added, “You’ll find 7 or 8 people coming out of nowhere, just to make petty enquiries about something as silly as the price of potato on a particular day.”
Another Guwahatian, Suraj Singh (name changed) opined that it is absolutely unsafe for people to venture out even now. “I commute myself but I have stopped using public transport now as I find it unsafe. I have even stopped riding my bike. I look after my safety. Why? Because when I see that my office is at a walking distance then I prefer walking. I converse with all my clients over the phone itself and only venture out when it is very necessary. When the need arises, one must venture out taking proper precautionary measures ensuring that they are safe themselves alongside ensuring safety of others. This is the way to do it and this is the only way we will be able to save ourselves and those in the society.”
On educational institutions being turned into quarantine centres, Ravi Sarma (name changed) opined that it is not possible to stop people willing to return home and when the nation calls one must all serve its people.
“We have no other option other than letting this happen. People are returning to Assam in such large numbers. If I was, for instance, outside the state and if my family was here in Assam, and if I was infected by the virus then I would want to see my family once. We Indians are emotionally very attached to our families. If I am willing to come home, nobody can stop me and there is no such rule but if one can stay where they are and stay safe, then they must opt for that option instead,” said a resident of Lachit Nagar.
He also lauded the efforts of the state government for its immediate and prompt action to curb the spread of the dreaded virus.
On whether malls should open now that market complexes and large stores are open for customers, Guwahatians expressed conflicting opinions. While some believed that malls are safe spaces, less spaced and less crowded as compared to market complexes, some believed that opening of malls would attract a lot of public, defeating the very purpose of social distancing.