As the southern state of Karnakata went into a complete lockdown once again from July 14 to July 23, continuous speculation and rumors floating about imminent clampdowns in various other parts of the country, including the national capital region, are dampening the sentiments of the business community and severely denting economic activities.
Gurugram’s District Magistrate Amit Khatri said yesterday that strict lockdown will be imposed at several containment zones in the satellite town, which had given its go-ahead to shopping malls barely two weeks ago to reopen from July 1. Uttar Pradesh too has decided to keep markets and business establishments closed during weekends.
“Just when economic activities have started to resume, we hear news of lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 cases. This is unacceptable as it puts huge pressure on us as we keep doing back and forth with our work routine,” the promoter of an export house, who has an office in Gurgaon, told IN.
Restaurants and hotels too have been allowed to open up in many parts of the country, but the uncertainty is proving to be a serious impediment. “We have started taking bookings from guests for weekend stays and we need to adopt extra caution at this stage, which we are but at this point there is a sense of uncertainty and apprehensions that we may be asked to close down again,” a senior executive of a five-star hospitality chain added.
For the economy to start picking up, the Centre and state governments will have to assure continuity in policies for businesses to open up.
The authorities need to stick to their decisions; fickle-mindedness at this stage can prove counter-productive. They need to understand that corona cases will rise as the country opens up and testing improves but re-imposing lockdown cannot be the solution.
The economy has already been severely affected after the country went into a stringent lockdown for over a month from the midnight of March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Many medical practitioners have underlined the need to open up despite rise in the number of cases. “By locking down, we can only delay the peak, we cannot stop it, it is important to let the virus pass through while the authorities need to keep a strict control over the mortality rate,” a senior Gurugram doctor said.
It needs to be mentioned here that, after opening up, Delhi witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases, touching over 3,000 a day in June-end. However, despite calls for another lockdown, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his team decided to allow businesses to continue with their operations. The rise in cases has automatically come down to about 1,500 a day at present.
Meanwhile the self-appointed experts on corona are quiet. These include senior journalists who had earlier opined and written extensively on the disastrous impact of the nationwide lockdown and the subsequent human and economic misery it brought along with it. They remain remained silent amid calls for another lockdown..