From Pandemic To Endemic
From pandemic to endemic is the latest warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the progression of the corona virus which, according to experts in the organization has come to stay and may never go away. There are also little hopes of a vaccine being developed, on the lines of other vaccines, to tackle illnesses like measles, etc, even though hundreds of laboratories across the world are working on the vaccine and have sounded a note of hope. There is also no specific time for the elimination of the virus and no one can predict the time of its departure. All this is very distressing and disturbing news for suffering humanity , more because experts in the WHO have thrown up their hands in a virtual surrender and left it to governments and people to evolve their own strategies. We see this happening in India today as there is an alarming daily rise in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, even at the end of three lockdowns and severe restrictions by state govts. As of now then, the message seems both clear and distressing ‘What cannot be cured has to be endured’.
A F NAZARETH, PORVORIM
Bringing Factory Staff From Borders
As lockdown 0.3 draws to an end, any further extension of the cautionary exercise appears to be inconsequential – at least where Goa is concerned. With the fight against the pandemic far from over, but with zero cases of COVID-19, the state was categorized as a ‘Green Zone’ by the Centre on May 1. Yet, just within a fortnight Goa’s green zone status is under threat as it has started recording a number of fresh COVID-19 cases against the backdrop of relaxations that automatically come with its classification as a safe territory vis-à-vis the coronavirus infections. Hence one fails to understand the haste shown by the authorities to have the state declared a green zone amidst the concerted efforts by the government to contain the spread of the disease. No matter how strict the guidelines; with the resumption of most of the economic activities, including industries in the state, it remains to be seen how well the people will adjust themselves to the ‘mandatory’ norms in this era of social distancing. Of course for a state tottering at the brinks of a fiscal collapse, an indefinite lockdown will only worsen the situation. But the urgency showed for ushering in ‘normalcy’ by the state government when the whole nation is engaged in waging a bitter war against the novel coronavirus has been unbelievable. With various transport modes expected to ferry home many more from within the country and abroad, one is indeed looking at a very grim picture. Besides Goans desiring to return home, the GSIA too has got a nod to bring factory staff from across the borders. The state will also witness a lot of interstate cargo movement as well. How well is Goa placed to meet these exigencies!
PACHU MENON, MARGAO