Medical experts say that an extension of the lockdown for at least another two weeks is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the State. (Photo Courtesy: Imnawapang Jamir)
Advises Govt to lift the limited shopping time in order to prevent crowding
Atono Tsükrü Kense
Kohima | April 9
Amidst the apprehension of a probable extension of the nationwide lockdown following the requests of experts, the State Health Department during a review meeting also underlined on the necessity to wait for two more weeks before resuming daily activities.
Making an appeal to the state government, Principal Director of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Vizolie maintained that it would be advisable to resume offices after observing and assessing the situation for another two weeks.
The department further appealed the government to relax the timing for marketing, noting that limiting time for shopping causes rush and social distancing could not be maintained, thereby rendering all ongoing efforts to nothing.
The probable extension of the lockdown is worrying the denizens, which if extended, may severely affect livelihoods of the daily earners, whose lives have been already disrupted.
Meanwhile, medical experts concurred that further extension of the lockdown would be advisable to make sure that the virus is contained before it makes an entry into the state.
Extension as ‘extraordinary precautions’
A pathologist from NHAK, Dr. Tina Khamo viewed that as extraordinary precautionary measures, the lockdown should continue for some time considering the highly contagious virus, which she said, can survive in the air and surface for days.
Further elaborating, she said “as it is a rapidly evolving situation, we still don’t know its full characteristics” and advised that while researches are going on around the world, ‘we’ should take extra precautionary measures.
Dr. Khamo also pointed out that even those patients who got cured can still infect others as the virus is said to survive in the human body for 35-37 days. Hence, she cautioned that even after prolonged lockdown is over, people should continue with handwashing, cough etiquette, social distancing and wearing masks.
‘Lockdown based on sound medical reasons’
While no lockdown can continue indefinitely, CIHSR Director, Dr. Sedevi Angami viewed that a lockdown definitely makes a difference, and is a wise thing to do considering the gravity of the situation.
Even if the extension is to be made, Dr. Angami stated, it will be based on sound medical reasons and further mentioned that the lockdown is neither an arbitrary decision nor political but purely on public health emergency. Moreover, he said these are well planned and well calculated by the government based on the recommendations of all the experts.
“The concern is that it might spread as soon as the lockdown goes off” opined Dr. Angami and pointed out that a person who is infected will be spreading the virus without knowing, citing the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
He rather called for continued efforts to work out the logistics and arrangements in ensuring the supply channels of essential goods.
Increase duration for opening of shops
Terming the limited time for opening of shops as ‘not a wise decision’, Dr Sedevi observed that this increases crowding, resulting in noncompliance of social distancing.
Stating that understanding of human psychology is crucial while making such decisions, he maintained that people are definitely going to crowd with the given limited time, and then, it becomes tricky to stop the crowd.
“There’s no such thing as panic buying,” he stated. “Everybody does sensible buying,” he said, adding that the more sensible thing to do at this time would be to increase the duration for opening of shops.
Meanwhile, as the number of patients infected by the virus across the country, Odisha has become the first state to extend the lockdown for another 15 days, till April 30.