Coronavirus lockdown is an exam we have to pass: Naidu

New Delhi

The “pressing need” to trigger resumption of economic activities has been addressed in ‘lockdown 3.0′ in a manner that fits with the prevailing situation on the ground, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday.

He also said that the announcement of extension of coronavirus-induced lockdown by two more weeks from May 4, with attendant relaxations driven by economic concerns, “marks a landmark” in the nation’s collective fight against COVID-19.

“In my view, this decision puts the onus of taking forward the fight against the virus more in the hands of stakeholders, including the people, state governments and concerned agencies, commercial and industrial establishments,” he said in a Facebook post.

The way all of us conduct during lockdown 3.0, Naidu opined, will lay the ground for further course of action aimed at returning to total pre-corona normalcy.

“This window of two weeks will decide the time frame for it. This is a kind of preliminary examination and as a nation, we need to pass in it. I have reasons to believe that we would, as we don’t have the option to fail,” he asserted.

So far, the central government has been at the forefront of formulating the battle strategy in consultation with the states with focus on lives of the people, he said. “It has yielded positive results…,” he said. The modalities of’ lockdown 3.0′, Naidu said, are a clear acknowledgment of the need to balance the twin concerns of lives and livelihoods by kick-starting the economy.

“The pressing need to trigger resumption of economic activities has been addressed in a manner that fits with the prevailing situation on the ground,” the vice president wrote. The green zones to a large extent and the orange zones to some degree should hopefully witness the start of much needed economic revival.

This is where the people, state governments and other concerned stakeholders should put their best foot forward while seizing the opportunity, he opined. At the same time, he asserted that people do not lower the guard in the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the disease while taking the economy out of freeze.

“The remarkable behavioral changes brought in during the first two lockdowns shall be persisted with for a long time to come and till the virus is put to rest,” he said. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance, avoiding gatherings will be the norm failing which the gains made so far may be brought to naught, he said.

India, Naidu said, has been at the forefront of fighting ‘COVID’ through commonality of vision, Intent and determination. “Such a tool adopted by 130 crore people of our country living in diverse geographical, social and economic conditions, braving the hardships has surprised the world,” he said.

The central and state governments, the people and the frontline warriors like doctors, paramedics, police, sanitation workers and other frontline warriors like farmers deserve admiration, he said. “But the battle is still to be won and we need to persist it as the ‘COVID disease’ is forecast to live with the humans for a longer period,” he cautioned.

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