SAMIR KHAN, MAPUSA
THE state government has announced four-day lockdown in view of the rising COVID cases in Goa. There is also apprehension that Goa might go under a complete 14-day lockdown as some politicians have clamoured for the same. There is no doubt that lockdown will help in checking to some extent the spread of the virus, but this cannot be the only solution left with the authorities. Have we not drawn any lessons from what happened to the economy and how it impacted the lives of common people during the three-week nationwide lockdown last year? Those who are urging the authorities to go for lockdown should understand that another lockdown means bringing the commercial activities, especially non-essential services, to a standstill, resulting in a slump in business, job losses, and salary cuts. The economy is still to recover from the devastative impact of the lockdown imposed last year. Most of the businesses are struggling to survive as demands for goods have dropped. Many businesses have been closed down as operational cost could not be covered. Without work and with no sales, life will become a hell for the families depending on daily income. For them the fear of debt and the pangs of hunger will be more deadly than the virus. It is easy for those who are economically sound to demand for a lockdown, but what about those whose livelihood depends on daily income? The authorities should take all these things into consideration before taking a decision on partial or total lockdown. Instead of opting for lockdown it would be wise to enforce COVID norms more stringently with total ban on casino operations, night parties, and all forms of social gatherings. The state could have brought the cases of COVID down had it not lowered its guard when the cases had reached to almost less than 50. When things were pretty much in control the government started showing laxity by going soft on COVID norms violators. The question is: why should the poor and the commoner be made to suffer for the failure, inefficiency, and lack of will on the part of the government?