Better planning needed

Editor,

With regards to the present vulnerable state of the entire nation, the worry of the localities seems to have aggravated all the more due to the closure of the sources of their livelihood. A question to be pondered upon is why only selected shops have the permission to open their shops in the adjoining areas of Bara Bazar? Can’t we resort to other alternatives like other states which allow people to open their shops either area wise, line-wise or shop wise where everyone gets the option to open and clear their perishables, because as we know, to buy and run our livelihoods we also need money..

Moreover if all the people flock to open their shops at once that would be cumbersome and inviting threat. Hence this is a prayer to the concerned authorities to kindly allow people to at least open their shops in turns which will also lead to goods not being damaged and those be made available to those in dire need..

This is just a suggestion and is not intended to offend anyone.

Yours etc.,

Pooja Prasad,

Via email

 

The Nizamuddin disaster

Editor,

It  is  really  unfortunate  that  a  religious  gathering  at  Nizamuddin   has   resulted   in  a  massive  rise  in  the  number  of    COVID-19   cases  in  the  country.   The  cluster  cases  centred  around  the  Tablighi  jamaat  conference   in  Nizamuddin ,  Delhi  raise  the  big  question- are  we  moving  properly  in  our  desperate   fight  against  COVID- 19 ?   The  Delhi-based  headquarters  of  the  Tablighi  Jamaat  in  Nizamuddin  in  South  Delhi  has  suddenly   become  the  latest  Covid- 19  hotspot  in  the  country.   The  congregation   at  Nizamuddin  has  become  a  ticking  bomb  for  Covid-19.

A  massive  exercise  is  underway   to  identify  and  track  hundreds  of  people  who  attended  a  Tablighi  Jamaat  conference   in  Nizamuddin,  Delhi  this  month.   Many  have  spread  the  coronavirus  infection  far  and  wide.  The  governments   in  various  states  have  issued  orders  to  trace  all  possible  contacts  the    delegates  may  have  made  after  their  return  from  the  Nizamuddin  event.  The  religious  gathering  saw   a  congregation   of  around  2, 000  people ,   including  many  from  foreign  countries.   Over  1, 000 have  been  evacuated,  over 300  hopitalised   and  over 700  quarantined.   Many  who  attended  the  meeting   have  tested  positive  for  the  virus  and  at  least  10  have  died.

When  scores  of  people  were  suspected  to be   infected  with the   deadly  coronavirus   in  Nizamuddin  area,   the  residents  accused  the  civil  and  police  administration   of  not  heeding   to  their  repeated  complaints  about  a  large  number   of  people  who  had  converged   at  the  Tablighi  Jamaat  Markaz  amid  the  coronavirus   outbreak.  Delhi  police  did  not  take  any  steps  despite  the  government   prohibiting   such  gathering  to  check  the  spread  of  the  virus.  The  Tablighi  Jamaat  is  known  for  its  indulgence   in  Dawah  Chilla(religious  education   among  non-believers   with  an  intent  to  convert  them  to  Islam)  activities   across  the  country.  The  outfit  has  workers ,   both  foreigners  and  Indians   and  is  backed  by  radical  outfits.

Like  the  patient   31  in  South  Korea,   India  now  has  super-spreaders  in  Delhi.  It  is  of  great  concern  that  these  super  -spreaders  carry  the  virus  to  different  parts  of  the  country.  It  is  an  irony  that  the  followers  of  Islam,  a  religion  that  teaches  people  to  do  good  to  others  have  led  people  to  irresponsible   destruction   in  the  time  of  a  pandemic.   They  ignored  all  social  distance  rules  to  avoid  the  coronavirus  and  stayed  at  Nuzamuddin’s  mosque  complex.  Some  of  the  missionaries   entered  the  country  on  tourist  visa   avoiding  disclosure  of  the  purpose  or  nature  of  their  visit.  Many  of  them  who  attended  the  conference   travelled   to  other  parts  of  the  country  and  they  contacted   a  large  number   of  people.

This  negligence serves  as  a  warning  to  the  government.   Government   must  crack  down  on  all  faith-based  or social   congregation   with  an  iron  hand  and  maintain   strict  vigil.  Though  the  government   claims  there  has  been  no  community  spread,   it  has  already  started.    There is  urgent  need  of  a  large  number  of  testing  kits,  protective  gear  and  apparatus  to  counter  the  spread.  A  thorough  probe  is  needed  about  the  sequence  of  events.  Both  the  organisers  of  the  gathering  and  the  local  administration   which  allowed   such  a  gathering  exhibited  a  high  degree  of  irresponsibility.

The  Nizamuddin  case  underlines   the  importance  of  focusing  on  high-risk  clusters.  It  is  also  a  cue  for  Indian  health  authorities   to  expand  testing.   The  next  step  in  India’s  battle   has  to  be  a  focus  on  high-risk  locations.

Yours  etc.,

Venu GS,  

Via  email

 

Nature is breathing easier

Editor,

While the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, environmentalists are deriving an exhilarating experience from the fact that our earth is getting a breather from the relentless degradation and exploitation by mankind. Yes, a complete lockdown has enabled the earth to become cleaner day by day. As a matter of fact, the earth is healing itself from the deep wounds inflicted by humanity over the years by way of maintaining strict lockdowns and social distancing as part of human efforts to contain the pandemic.

The earth been cleaned in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Urban as well as sub-urban areas have started experiencing a resurgence of nature as the lockdowns have brought with them fresh air, clearer skies and the revival of urban wildlife. There are more birds singing these days and the flora is actually looking green instead of the usual dusty brown. And frequent light showers in the last few weeks have definitely washed out the dirt and pollution and freshened up nature.

Satellite imagery shows signs of nature scoring a victory. Both environmental researchers and scientists have evaluated the air quality, one of the most prominent parameters. With unnecessary travel being discouraged and manufacturing units facing a closure, the data gathered shows the emergence of cleaner air. According to a research by Columbia University, both carbon monoxide and carbon-dioxide emissions were observed to have fallen by around 50 percent and 10 percent respectively in the bustling city of New York. The subdued humdrum surrounding tourism and the reduced number of motorboats in Venice has led to cleaner waterways.

In India, nationwide lockdown is also providing perfect conditions for olive turtles to lay eggs in Odisha’s Gahirmatha beach and Rushikulya’s rookery. Usually, this event is known to attract huge crowds and officials from the Forest Department which involves considerable effort and resources to patrol gatherings, protect the eggs and later release the hatchlings into the sea. However, this time around, there were no such interruptions. Air quality in Delhi, notorious for being the worst in the world is now a healthy zone thanks to the nationwide 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19. Other metropolitan cities too are witnessing a similar trend. Thus, the pandemic in a way has become a blessing in disguise.

Of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, 22 of them are in India. However, following the country-wide lockdown pollution levels have begun to significantly decrease. Authorities and environmentalists must know this great positive change in the environments and they must take practical steps to sustain this cleaner environment even after the country-wide lockdown is revoked. It is difficult to achieve a clean environment and even more difficult to sustain it. Modern man’s victory lies in sustaining a cleaner environment.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

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