74% citizens in favour of full lockdown in 27 high virus load districts
- • Appreciate MHA lockdown relaxations announced in green, orange and regular red zones
- • People want the State Governments and Local Administrations to undertake an extremely cautious approach in high virus load districts and continue full lockdown
- • Once they become regular red zones, want relaxations to apply
3rd May 2020, New Delhi: The second phase of the COVID -19 lockdown in India has ended and the Ministry of Home Affairs has extended the lockdown by two weeks till May 17th. The Government has announced a host of relaxations in Green, Orange and Red zones to restart economic activity. Collective citizens recommendations submitted to the Government via LocalCircles to resume economic activity in green and orange zones have been fully accepted. However, the Government has gone a step further and approved some economic activity in red zones as well. The MHA circular date May 1 permits all private offices in red zones to operate with 33% staff, permits industrial activity in EOU, SEZ add industrial related to a set of sectors to also restart. Permission has also been granted for neighborhoods and standalone shops to open and cars and two wheelers to operate, though all with the condition of social distancing and limited capacity norms being followed.
While most citizens are ok with the red zone relaxations, a large number of concerns are being received about these relaxations applying in high virus load districts. High virus load districts as identified by the Niti Aayog include 27 districts of India where the intensity and number of cases of COVID-19 are exceptionally high. They include Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Indore, Hyderabad and many other leading metros of the country.
Given the high number of concerns received about relaxations in these high load districts, LocalCircles decided to conduct a survey to get the collective opinion of people of India on whether additional restrictions are needed in these high virus load districts. A special focus in the survey was put on getting inputs from people residing in these 27 districts and 88% inputs have been received from people who reside in these 27 districts. In the survey, citizens were asked that given the MHA guidelines on relaxations in red zones, how should the State Governments and Local Administration go about relaxations in the high virus load districts. In response, 74% citizens expressed that NO lockdown relaxations should be given in these high virus load districts; 25% citizens said that red zone relaxations must apply to these high virus load districts. 1% did not have an opinion. Over 8,288 citizens voted in this survey from 124 districts of India, however 88% of the participants were from these 27 high load districts.
To put the citizens concern in perspective, on May 2nd, Mumbai alone reported 751 cases of COVID-19 taking city total to 7625 cases. That is 19.1% of India’s total cases in a single city. The concern that citizens have is with such a high number of cases, any relaxation in lockdown will lead to much faster propagation of the virus resulting in a large number of cases in such high load districts in the coming weeks. Many citizens have specifically stated that given the urgent need to restart economic activity, a close watch must be kept on all these districts and as soon as they fall into regular red zone category, the relaxations should start applying. MHA has currently identified 130 districts as red zones of which these 27 high virus load districts are a part.
74% citizens want the 27 High Virus Load districts to stay in complete lockdown; Don’t want Red Zone relaxations to apply
LocalCircles will be escalating these findings to all key stakeholders in the Central Government and various State Governments so they can be considered as the final relaxation approach is defined and implemented.