Covid-19: Health and Safety First
Even after paying a huge price, it appears that Delhites have not learnt any lessons from the devastation caused by the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is perhaps the only explanation one could present after seeing residents of the national capital thronging to market places within hours of easing strict lockdown rules. Citizens celebrated as though they had been liberated from captivity after a prolonged period. The scenario became so horrifying that Delhi High Court took cognisance of the violations. The division bench of Justice Navin Chawla and Justice Asha Menon have issued instructions to both the Centre and the Delhi Government to take immediate steps for implementing Covid-19 safety norms so that the anticipated third wave of the pandemic can be prevented or at least delayed . “We have paid a huge price in the second wave. We don’t know if there are any households that have not suffered in the second wave, closely or remotely,” the bench observed. The court has also advised the government to take strict measures against violators and send the message in no uncertain terms that such violations would not be tolerated at any cost.
More often than not, the Centre and the Delhi Government have been at the receiving end of public anger for failing to protect the people from the waves of the pandemic. It is a fact that Oxygen shortage existed in Delhi during the second wave of Covid-19. There were not enough ICU facilities for Covid-19 patients and even general beds were not available in hospitals. The misery of the people further increased as cremations of near and dear ones became extraordinarily delayed as all cremation grounds were working beyond capacity due to the unprecedented surge in the number of casualties. As a result, for the first time Delhi witnessed mass cremations on roads and inside parks.
It was anticipated that such horrible scenes would make Delhites more responsible and would make them more keen to follow health norms strictly even after normalcy was restored. But the pictures of crowded markets in the national capital have shocked the entire world. This is not an exhibition of the indomitable spirit of mankind but rather, an act of foolishness. It was quite natural that lifting of the restrictions. But it was never expected that citizens would move out of their houses in such large numbers, throwing away all caution. The third wave of the pandemic is expected to arrive in October next but medical practitioners fear that such violations will only hasten the third wave. If Delhites do not voluntarily follow the safety norms of social distancing, wearing masks, etc., the government should not show any leniency in punishing the guilty as it will not only put Delhi in danger, but also make all citizens of the country even more vulnerable to the disease.