Holding Covid at bay

Thirteen villages of Gurugram district have managed to ward off the virus by strictly following Covid-appropriate norms and observing a total lockdown, shutting out outsiders. The respective panchayats deserve a pat on the back for encouraging self-discipline and self-sufficiency among the residents. About 65 other villages in the district are on course to being declared Covid-free as they have just one case each. These are the findings of a door-to-door survey being conducted by the health department in Gurugram’s rural areas. Amid these green shoots, the overall situation in the district continues to be a cause for concern. Its daily caseload remains among the highest in Haryana, though the positivity rate has come down in recent weeks. The majority of these infections are being reported from Gurugram’s urban areas, pointing to laxity on the part of the people in terms of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Other places in the National Capital Region (NCR), such as Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida, are also finding it hard to tame the virus due to half-hearted enforcement of the restrictions and recklessness on the part of the residents. The sorry state of affairs is summed up by Thursday’s incident in Greater Noida, where two young men hurled abuse at a doctor and his staff, issued threats and opened fire outside the clinic after one of them was told to wear a mask before entering the premises.

In Delhi, the authorities have been struggling to make people see reason and follow the pandemic safety protocol. On May 23, the Delhi Police did not challan people for violating Covid-19 guidelines and instead gave them masks and flowers to raise awareness about sticking to the basics. It’s a pity that grown-ups have to be schooled to shun complacency and indiscipline. The entire NCR needs to take a cue from Gurugram’s 13 villages and mend its ways. The second wave seems to be subsiding, but it’s way too early to take it easy. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe — it’s as simple as that.

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