The 21-day lockdown was not enough to win the war against Coronavirus.
New cases are emerging almost every hour now and the country's tally has already crossed 6500 while Covid19India.org figures have already breached the 7000 mark. In Lucknow, today till press time, we had 29 cases while several people have recovered in the city including a Jr. Doctor of KGMU and Kanika Kapoor.
New order issued in Lucknow on Wednesday and Thursday
On Wednesday the Lucknow administration had decided to seal 12 Coronavirus hotspots in Lucknow and on Thursday they also announced that Lucknow will now be under a stricter lockdown (we call it lockdown+) for the remaining 4 days of the nationwide lockdown. Under lockdown+ movement of people is now restricted between 9:30am to 6pm. The pass holders are instructed to reach their places of work before 9:30am and not to leave till 6pm. Citizens who need to buy essentials are instructed to walk to their nearest grocery or medicine shop or call the helpline numbers for home delivery.
The press release of Thursday order is attached below-
Conflicting reports of landlords not giving relief to tenants
Despite DM's order in Lucknow to landlords to not charge rent from students and workers staying in the city during the lockdown period, conflicting reports have emerged. In one such incident, a student reported it to Knocksense on Thursday that her landlord is not agreeing to waive-off the rent. This is the exact message she (student, name withheld) sent us-
For her the college is taking online classes, her freelance work is shut due to lockdown, she doesn't know how to cook, stays alone in the city and is unable to go home. She is staying at the same PG since 2018. How hard will it be for the landlord to waive the rent for a month? She has now lodged a complaint on the helpline number issued by the DM.
Different forms of lockdown introduced
Over last few days we have received three new forms of lockdown and it just makes me wonder if authorities are really scared in labelling lockdown++ as curfew? The first and the most lenient one for the public is a normal lockdown, wherein people can buy essentials, delivery aggregators had passes and stores were allowed to open till late. The second form of Lockdown is in which 90% of Lucknowites currently live in. Herein a person is not allowed to venture out between 9:30am to 6pm but can walk to their nearest stores to buy the essentials. While the third kind and the most strict is Lockdown++ which is currently reserved for only hotspots.
Media's role in spreading awareness
Have the officials (and media) been really able to make people understand what Coronavirus is all about and how to react if somebody is symptomatic or we have scared them? Recently a video went viral on internet where a few people in Lucknow's sadar were taken out in an ambulance. The person who recorded the video was in tears and feared that the people of a specific religion were being targeted. At this crucial juncture we cannot bring out our blame game face. We need to make people comfortable. Panic will lead us nowhere. It is most importantly the job of the authorities to calm people down and take their help in contact tracing.
Immediate rapid action response by the government officials
On Thursday, it was categorically told to the media persons in Lucknow that the government will be sealing major districts in Uttar Pradesh including Lucknow. This message was sent out allegedly from the Chief Secretaries office which led to panic buying in multiple places in Lucknow. People were out on the streets and were buying anything their hands could grab. No social distancing was followed and the police could do little to help. The news of sealing Lucknow from midnight was all over the news channels and social media. Instantly reacting, another government official shrugged off the earlier report and stated that only hotspots will be sealed which brought a sense of calm amongst people.
The recent reports have shown that not all information is correct, verified and useful. Too much information may create panic thus we request you to not trust WhatsApp forwards. In our endeavour to disburse authentic news, we will only publish information which is either verified by a government official or available on Government's websites.
We do know that Lucknow is in a state of lockdown since long but we need to stay indoors for a few more days. In order to curb the spread of the virus, we request you to practice social distancing. Which is why it is important for people to stay indoors and not flock the medical and essential services shop. It is important to follow the lockdown and not head out for the next few days.