COVID-19 Exclusive: Dr Mukul Kapoor talks about scenario after April 14
8 April, 2020 | newsx bureau
In an exclusive conversation with Newsx, Dr. Mukul Kapoor opened up about the scenario of India after April 14. Read the entire interview here—
In an exclusive chat with NewsX, Dr Mukul Chandra Kapoor, Director Anesthesia in Saket’s Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi, revealed that the nation eagerly awaits the fate of social restrictions after 14th April. It seems like the finale of a 20-20 match, which is inching towards a nail-bitingly close finish. There are indications that the lockdown will be lifted on 14th April. However, the constant rise in the number of positive COVID cases indicates otherwise. Several fake messages are circulating in the social media that WHO recommends a 5-day relaxation window period, before the second phase of the lockdown. I wonder what projected stakes compulsive gamblers have bet on regards the duration of this lockdown!
The Trumpesque economists feel that the hit on the economy is unacceptable, and its time to lift the embargo. The realists, however, think that being alive is a more relevant objective. Speaking realistically, whether the COVID curve declines or continues to rise, the nation has no option but to keep the lockdown. In case the positivity curve starts flattening, we need to maintain the restrictions to consolidate the gains. In case the virus spread does not ebb, stricter enforcement of the lockdown will be needed to prevent a disaster. There is just no alternative to the lockdown at present.
A transition policy should be spelled out before the lockdown is lifted. This transition policy, based on social distancing, will need plenty of publicity before implementation. This policy will be tough to implement in our country. The population density, educational, cultural, and social factors will make the implementation of such a policy, an administrative nightmare. The sheer numbers in the public transport system, trading areas, and workplaces make physical distancing impossible. The re-migration of workers to the bigger cities will pose a bigger problem than that faced during reverse-migration. The framing of the transition policy will be a challenge. A delicately balanced approach will be needed with permission to restart only some crucial sectors.
The government will have to swallow the bitter pill of low revenue, due to low productivity, and face erosion of its popularity, with an extension of the common man’s suffering. With an inevitable shortfall in revenue, the implementation of economic alleviation measures will be a challenge. Poverty and unemployment will incite rebellion and promote theft. The Prime Minister will find it difficult to elevate the mood of the nation with his inspiring speeches. The current festive response to his invigorating and morale-boosting national address may not be visible after some time.