A weekend lockdown serves no purpose in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Sunday. His government was making continuous efforts to rebuild confidence in the people, and there were no plans to impose any more lockdowns, the Chief Minister said.
The Covid-19 situation in Haryana was under control, case numbers were better than many other states, and near normalcy had returned across the state, Khattar said at an online Idea Exchange with The Indian Express.
“A lockdown will not serve any purpose unless it is imposed for a 14-day period. Imposing a lockdown over the weekend or for two days merely gives the impression that something is being done,” the Chief Minister said.
“Unless we isolate an infected person for a continuous 14-day period, they will continue to infect others. If we want to work only on perceptions, then yes, of course a weekend lockdown can be imposed. But if we actually want to achieve results, then a weekend lockdown serves no purpose,” he said.
Several states have imposed short-duration or localised lockdowns as the country as a whole went into a phased ‘Unlock’ from June 8. In BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, a range of restrictions come into effect every weekend.
curbs in Haryana
Khattar ruled out the possibility of re-imposing a lockdown in any part of Haryana. “There are no such plans,” he said.
“It does not appear that the cases will abruptly stop coming in,” the Chief Minister said – “but we are continuously making efforts to build people’s confidence. The panic that was earlier prevailing in people is no longer there”.
The Haryana government reviews the projections on Covid-19 cases every 15 days, Khattar said. “The number we had projected on June 1 was quite high, so we made preparations accordingly. But the reality is that even today beds in several hospitals across the state are vacant,” he said.
“We recently reviewed these projections and aimed at 15,000 active Covid-19 cases. But currently the number of active cases is far less. We analysed the situation on July 15, and we will do so again on August 1 and act accordingly.”
The pandemic posed a major economic challenge, Khattar said. “In the April-June period, our revenue receipts were in deficit by Rs 5,000 crore, while we incurred extra expenditure of around Rs 4,000 crore.” However, the situation has begun to improve in July, he said.
“Another criterion of analysing the economic scenario is power consumption. If we compare the power consumption of July 2019 with July 2020, it is at par. This means that the same activities that were going on in July 2019 have come back to functioning in July 2020, too”.
Around 50,000 entrepreneurs and permitted industries had resumed functioning, and some 40 lakh people had returned to work, Khattar said, while describing the initiatives taken by the government to provide relief to industry.
“Haryana has over 77 per cent recovery, which is a good recovery rate. Barring two-three states, Haryana has a very good recovery rate. The mortality rate in Haryana is 1.32. We are trying to further increase our testing. Currently, we are testing 12,000-13,000 samples daily. We feel that more and more testing will help identify infections and will result in more people recovering. We have also started plasma therapy. We have created four plasma banks in Rohtak, Panchkula, Faridabad and Gurgaon. People have started donating plasma. Positive patients shall be treated with this plasma,” the Chief Minister said.
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