Tuesday, 2 June, 2020
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EDITORIAL

Rationale Behind Lockdown



The government has extended the ongoing nationwide lockdown till June 22 owing to a spike in coronavirus cases in the country. The country saw the second COVID-19 death on Sunday that must have goaded the government to give continuity to the lockdown, the most effective way to slow down the spread of the contagion. The continuation of the lockdown appears to be a well thought-out plan in the face of a gradual rise in the virus infection and death.

On Sunday, a 25- year old man from Banke died of the coronavirus infection while the number of COVID-19 cases reached 304 as of Monday morning. Earlier, a post-partum woman had died of the same virus. The coronavirus infection has now spread to 28 districts. However, experts are of the view that with the ramping up of the virus test among the people, more number of people showing signs of infection can be ascertained, which is not a thing to be scared about. The arrival of a large number of the Nepali migrants from India, where the virus infection has increased fast and a few other countries, has put Nepal at a greater risk. The current situation has thus demanded cautious measures to deal with the deadly disease. The continuation of the lockdown, which is in place since March 24, appears to be one of the most viable options at hand for the authority.

Though the long lockdown has hit the nation's business, commerce, education and other sectors hard and brought its economy to its knees, it has served as the most effectual means to save the life of people by keeping the contagion at bay. One should also be mindful that if the lockdown is lifted or relaxed prematurely, it will only help infection spread by several folds that will imperil the life of thousands of people, necessitating greater amount of medical facilities. The high number of infection will certainly overwhelm our health facilities. Also, our frontline health workers will face dire predicament should the rate infection among our people go up exponentially. If these undesirable events are allowed to happen, then our whole health facilities may collapse. The continuation of lockdown has indeed done wonders in a country like Nepal, where health and other services are not as excellent on a par with that of many developed nations.

While praising the efficacy of lockdown, one must take into consideration some convincing ways that the authority must undertake to keep the number of coronavirus infection to a much lower level during the lockdown period. Apart from forcing the people to remain indoors, keeping businesses, education institutions and offices to stay shut and maintaining a high level of surveillance along the Nepal-India border from where many persons, suspected of having virus infection, are said to be sneaking into Nepal’s territory, our authority must accelerate virus tests during this period. It must also mobilise its resources to enhance the capacity of health centres and health workers and increase the number of isolation and quarantine facilities. These are but a few measures that will certainly help our authority slow down the contagion's spread and thus help save lives, thereby justifying the rationale behind the imposition of extended lockdown. 

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