Against the backdrop of rising coronavirus cases, social media had been abuzz with speculation and “prediction” that the central government is planning a fresh nationwide lockdown from June 18. The government has rejected this as rumour.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Sunday called that message as “fake” stating, “There is no such plan under consideration. Please beware of rumour mongers.”
Claim: A message on Facebook claiming strict #Lockdown from 18th June. #PIBFactCheck: It’s #Fake. There is no such plan under consideration. Please beware of rumour mongers. pic.twitter.com/NqSXOpy9n9
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) June 14, 2020
Some chief ministers including Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi and Vijay Rupani of Gujarat too have dismissed the speculation saying lockdown is not coming back.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu – second-worst hit by coronavirus – has announced bringing back lockdown from June 19 to June 30 in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram, hit worst by Covid-19. This lockdown is strict in containment zones but more relaxed in other areas.
Meanwhile, an online survey conducted by citizen engagement platform LocalCircles found nearly three-fourth of the participants calling for fresh round of complete national lockdown. Majority also supported lockdown in the cities, hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Conducted across 221 districts of India, the survey received over 46,000 responses. Around 80 of around 6,000 participants, voting on the question for lockdown in Delhi, supported the move.
For Mumbai and Chennai, over 60 per cent respondents favoured bringing back lockdown. The participants favoured a four-week coronavirus lockdown.
The popular sentiment for lockdown is building at a time when the government has relaxed norms of movement and working at public places. The decision seems to have emerged from the realisation of economic state of people and the country.
At the same time, the ICMR has said Covid-19 situation is India is still far from it peak. A recent study by ICMR researchers estimated that India may see a coronavirus peak around mid-November.
India is already placed fourth in the list of the worst-affected countries in the world after the US, Brazil and Russia. However, if only June caseloads are considered, India has reported third highest number of fresh cases in the world behind Brazil and the US.
But will there be a total lockdown again? The government has said a firm “No”. The survey agency said it will share its data with the government.