Letter to BS: No point in stopping everything to tackle coronavirus

Corona is not the only virus which affects the lungs. We have less harmful viruses that cause chest congestion, especially in hilly terrains. In winter, it is common in Punjab too. The best treatment for this, we have been told, is to sit outdoors, under the sun and breathe in fresh air. Sitting within the four walls or places where there is no access to air or sun fuels the spread of this virus. Some say the coronavirus is spreading fast in Europe and in America because these countries are in the grip of winter and people remain inside. It has not been able to have the same impact in the Indian subcontinent because we get a lot of sunlight, they believe.

In my view, the government’s directive that people should stay confined within the four walls of their homes is not going to help. Instead, many more people will fall ill. Deaths because of corona are fewer till now than deaths due to other seasonal diseases. People should thus be allowed to move out but, as a precaution, they can maintain distance from each other.

There is no point in stopping everything. Traffic can be opened with restricted occupancy. Shops can be opened in shifts. Similarly, schools and colleges can run with 50 per cent attendance at a time, in shifts or with alternate day attendance. The same principle should apply to factories and offices. The consequences of this lockdown can be harmful to the economy. It is not easy to start factories once closed.

Bhartendu Sood Chandigarh

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First Published: Sun, March 29 2020. 23:08 IST

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