Updated: Jun 18, 2020
As per the data on 4th June 2020, about two lakh seventeen thousand people are currently affected by the novel coronavirus in our country. The country has also witnessed over six thousand deaths, and on a positive side one lakh four thousand recoveries. After about 70 days in lockdown, the government on 31st May announced Unlock 1 which is to start from 8th of June all over the country. The states however have been given the freedom to decide what all activities can remain open and what all can stay closed depending on the number of cases and the load on healthcare of the particular state.
Some major guidelines of Unlock 1 include a 3 phased unlocking. Phase 1 includes opening up of religious places, hotels, restaurants, other hospitality services and shopping malls which will be open from June 8. Of course, all of these are to apply rules of social distancing and ensure that there is no public hoarding in a place. Phase 2 would include opening up of schools, colleges, educational training centers all of which will be opened only after taking the feedback from all stakeholders including parents, teachers, students and admin. The decision for the same will be taken in July.
Phase 3 would basically mean going back to a normal life. It includes opening up of international flights, metro services, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks all of which will be opened up assessing the situation. The dates for the same have not been mentioned.
People are now allowed to move around from 5am to 9pm after which movement is not allowed. Inter state and intrastate movement has been allowed by the central government but states have the freedom to put restrictions if necessary. Shramik specials, trains and domestic flights will continue as per the SOP. Lockdown will be extended till June 30 in areas marked as hotspots or containment zones.
With so many things opening up, people are sure to get out and they should but with necessary precautions! Some of the people may be forced to come out by their offices or jobs, some may go out through their own choice either way safety measures should be taken by everyone stepping out, not just for your own health but also for the health of others as there have been many cases of asymptomatic people who themselves have no symptoms but can and do spread the disease.
Some of the things people can keep in mind while moving out include:
Masks masks masks: Whether they be the N95 masks or simply some cloth masks, it is absolutely important that you wear a mask when stepping out!
Social distancing: Maintain about 6 ft distance from everyone whether you’re in your workplace, in a religious setting, in a market, in an airport wherever you are even if the other person does not have any symptoms. Surely, most of the places like workplaces, airports, markets will have markings and rules which will help you maintain the distance.
Carry and Use a Sanitizer: Not the ones we normally use, but the ones with 70% alcohol. Carry these everywhere you go even if its just to your nearby market, you never know what you touch or who might touch you by mistake so carrying a sanitizer is a must. Also use it! A lot of people carry these but forget to use them either because of the busy schedule or a disbelief but WHO has recommended it and hence you should follow it.
Don’t touch unnecessary things: Don’t touch doors, knobs, taps, elevator buttons and even people with your hands. Try minimizing contact as much as you can and try touching things with your elbows. mAlso, when outside try not touching your face, specially areas like eyes, nose or ears from where infection may get inside your body more easily.
Get tested or Isolate At Home: If you feel you have come in contact with someone who may have corona or you yourself have symptoms, it is better to get tested and know the truth so you can take proper quarantine measures and stop it from spreading more. If testing is not available, still err on the side of caution and quarantine yourself for the recommended time.
Do not be afraid of stepping out, it is a step to restoring normality. Take all these precautions and you should be safe from any dangers. In such times, it is obvious that one worries about getting sick but remember the recovery rate of the country is very high about 48% and mortality rate very low. With the appropriate precautions and limiting your outdoor time only to essential work, you can navigate this new phase of the pandemic safely.
By – Tanya Chandra Feature image by – Nuti Yadav