‘Don’t Repeat Italy’s Mistake’: NRIs Appeal To Folks In India To Understand The Importance Of Social Distancing

by Swarajya Staff - Mar 25, 2020 03:24 PM +05:30 IST
‘Don’t Repeat Italy’s Mistake’: NRIs Appeal To Folks In India To Understand The Importance Of Social Distancing Rakesh Rajput, an Indian living in Germany
  • The message that social distancing is the need of the hour, has taken and is taking some time to settle in people’s minds.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday announcing a country wide lockdown for 21 days to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus in the wake of a rise in cases of Covid-19 in the country. The lockdown, he said, was absolutely necessary to save India, people and families.

The address came two days after his appeal for Janata Curfew to encourage social distancing to cut the chain and spread of Covid-19. The Janata Curfew was a success, with many people understanding the importance of staying home.

The message of staying home to break the chain and slow/flatten the curve is what nations in Europe, which are fighting an intense spread and impact of Covid-19, were trying to get across to people a few weeks ago.

Italy is the epicentre of Covid-19 infections and deaths in Europe. As this news article suggests, Italy has now approved the use of drones to monitor social distancing.

Italy remains the worst affected in the continent. Concerns are mounting in Britain — where Covid-19 infections and related deaths are spiralling.

According to this article, there is pressure on the government to go for some hard calls. The report says that the pressure on the government is to ‘impose the same strict rules as its European neighbours as it became clear that many people were simply ignoring government advice to avoid social contact.”

It quotes Tim Colbourn, associate professor in global health epidemiology, University College London as saying: “We need UK LOCKDOWN TODAY. If we do it today we may limit damage to be ‘only’ as bad as Italy, which is suffering terribly.’

Britain is now under an effective lockdown.

The message that social distancing is the need of the hour, has taken and is taking some time to settle in people's minds.

As India was moving towards Janata Curfew on Sunday as a result of Modi's appeal, Twitter and social networking sites saw concerned Indians — all common folks with roots in India who are living in other countries, sharing pleas for social distancing through awareness videos.

These good folks were seen making an appeal to Indians living in India, asking them to go for social distancing and understand what importance it holds for them.

Some of these folks made the videos during breathers in lockdowns and drastic measures brought in by the authorities for social distancing to cut the Covid-19 chain, or to dent or bend the curve in their country of stay.

Here is a video from Rakesh, an Indian citizen living in Germany. In the beginning of the video Rakesh says that he has made it for those people in India who think that the Coronavirus cannot spread in India, and for those who take the spread for granted because they are young.

Yahi same galtee do hafte pehle Italy ne ki thi, Spain ne ki thi, aur fir Germany ne ki thi (the same mistake was committed by Italy two weeks ago, and later, by Spain and then Germany,” he says.

He recounts the stages in spread that Germany saw during March. He pleads with Indians to stay home. One of the interesting points he mentioned was about the social interaction in India, drawing a contrast in how he perceives it happens in Germany.

He said that the Indians’ social interaction in India was much, much more than that of people living in Germany, and that was a cause of concern for him in the wake of Covid-19 spread in India.

Another moving plea has come from a Sikh gentleman living in Italy. He lays down a small list of dos. He is seen speaking in Punjabi. First, he says, “don't rush and crowd up”.

Next, he says, one person from each household should go and fetch essential goods (this video understandably was made before India went into lockdown). Perhaps, triggered by his own observation of how people were not taking social distancing seriously in India, he warns of the serious resulting impacts of not maintaining social distancing.

He says that people themselves would not be able to halt the spread, once the lack of social distances spikes it. He adds that their situation (in Italy) is such that they are locked in homes but are in fear.

He appeals to people to not spread rumours and take the spread lightly. Another gentleman living in North Italy who made a video, mentions the high standards of Italy's health and medical infrastructure.

He adds that the current state of affairs leaves Italy in a helpless situation because the number of people needing care owing to the impact of Covid-19 has surpassed the care and attention infrastructure and health workers can provide.

He describes the situation in Italy as ‘gambhir apaatkaal’ — serious emergency. In the end, he appeals to people to take the spread seriously and to stay home.

One motive in their videos, besides the need to grind in the word on social distancing seems putting of a calendar before Indians living in India, to make them aware of how much social distancing means in the Covid-19 scenario.

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