Haryana Health and Home Minister Anil Vij on Sunday hinted at the possibility of reimposing a lockdown if people do not follow safety protocols. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that while many had suggested imposing another lockdown, it was not the solution because people’s livelihoods were at stake.
“There are two ways, to act tough and impose lockdown. So far, the government is in the mood of acting tough,” Vij said after he issued instructions to all top police officers and officials of various other departments to deal strictly with people who are not wearing masks, keep a strict vigil on all kinds of gatherings and not allow any crowd formation. He also directed officers to ramp up testing, especially at inter-state borders.
Khattar, who issued an appeal to the people of Haryana through a video message telecast on news channels, also said: “There are various suggestions coming in to reimpose the lockdown. It can be imposed again by way of issuing an order, but we need to take precautions. We did lockdown earlier, but people’s livelihoods got shattered, industries were shut, economic activities go affected. So, to avoid such a situation again, we need to take adequate precautions. Lockdown is not the solution.”
Urging people to exercise restraint and follow safety norms strictly till an effective vaccine comes, Khattar added, “Several nations in the world are conducting tests for the vaccines. In several countries, first and second stage trials have remained successful. Third phase trials are going on. I am happy to inform you that our health minister Anil Vij too participated in the third phase trials of an indigenous vaccine so people can believe that the vaccine would be effective to combat Covid-19 and with the vaccine, a person can be saved from the coronavirus infection. It is a communicable disease, which has spread across the world. But, we need to wait till the vaccine comes. We need to take adequate precautions. I repeatedly appeal to all of you, especially people living in NCR to be extremely careful and must follow all the precautions.”
Citing the recent surge of infections in Haryana, the chief minister said, “In the last nine months, ever since the pandemic hit us, a stage came when we felt that the affect of infection would come down. A time came when Haryana touched 93 per cent recovery rate and the daily recoveries were more than the new cases. Since then several times this graph went up and down. Now, we are witnessing a third wave. Daily, 2,500-3,000 people have started coming positive. In these nine months, we have learnt that we need to be extremely vigilant to combat this pandemic. If we get even a bit negligent, the consequences would be disastrous.”
Saying that almost each and every family in Haryana has got affected with Covid-19 on an average, Khattar said, “Fatality rate in Haryana at 1.01 per cent is far lesser than several other states. While in Punjab it is 3.2 per cent. We have a recovery rate of nearly 90 per cent. We are daily conducting nearly 35,000 tests. If we look at Haryana’s population, we have tested over 12 per cent of our population till date. In Sero Surveys too, we found that 14 per cent people have developed antibodies. This population is about 35 lakh. It appears that in each and every family of Haryana, there is at least one person per family who had either tested positive, or tested positive and recovered on their own or with medicines, or still has it. We cannot keep coronavirus out of our homes by keeping our doors shut. But, the only solution is to follow safety protocols, wearing face mask and maintaining social distance. I have asked government to provide 1 crore masks across Haryana. I appeal to people to keep 5-7 masks in their pocket every time they go out so that wherever they see anybody not wearing a mask, they can give one to such a person.”
“If we do not want to stay in hospital for 15-20 days and bear this pain, if we do not want that any of our family members test positive and if we do not want anybody in our society to lose his/her life, we need to take precautions. We strictly need to maintain social distancing and wear face mask,” Khattar emphasised.x
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