If Lockdown Continues, More People Will Die Of Hunger, Instead Of Coronavirus

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As the coronavirus cases and death tolls surge, in an effort to contain it, Nepal government mulls for yet another lock down. The authorities extended the lockdown in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. In some news, there were news that some authorities opined that the prohibitory order should continue till Dashain.

Lockdown and restriction orders are curbing the spread of this pneumonia-like pathogen but it cannot last indefinitely, at least not causing a hard blow to economies. Nepal is facing a drop in output unprecedented in its intensity. Nepal’s economic outline darkens daily, with businesses shutting down and people shutting in. As Nepal is enforcing proibitory orders to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases, the restrictions are affecting the Nepal’s poor. The effect of lockdown has been a walking exodus of people. Some perished in a way. If the lockdown continues indefinitely, many could be plunged into poverty, hunger, or desperation.

According to the survey done by Nepal Rashtra Bank, tens of thousand of people were rendered jobless during the period when lock down was enforced. The survey also showed that 22.5 percent staffs were laid off by companies citing the pandemic. Hotels and restaurants laid off more employees. The survey was conducted in 52 districts which included industries, start-ups, and business ventures. Among them, start-ups were worst-hit by the pandemic.

The government is extending the lockdown as if it is the only panacea to solve this health crisis. Despite the lockdown and prohibitory orders, daily cases and reported deaths are sky-rocketing.

As the cases are increasing daily, the emerging question is: “When will this virus disappear?” This pandemic can be prevented from resurging in one of two ways. One is researchers would have to develop a safe, effective vaccine against this deadly virus and making enough of it for everybody. Races are on to find and produce vaccines to prevent COVID-19. Another way is the virus will extinct itself as the spread comes to deliberate a form of herd community on population. It is possible after a large number of people in a community have been infected with COVID-19 and builds resistance to it. If this option is allowed, unmitigated, it would be a catastrophe as it would cause many deaths, mostly among the elderly and those people with limited access to the health care system. Both ways take time. So, we need a good strategy to see us through the next year or more. 

Sooner or later, the authorities should realize that we should safely live with the virus. If prohibitory orders continue like this without plan, more people will die of hunger, instead of the virus.

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