South Asia and the militarized curfews and lockdown for coronavirus pandemic! Was it a fear psychosis?

South Asia and the militarized curfews and lockdown for coronavirus pandemic! Was it a fear psychosis?
  • Coronavirus infection was first diagnosed in the residents of Wuhan in large numbers.
  • And then increasing cases of this deadly virus started to be reported from other countries as well.
  • WHO declared it a pandemic and soon the world and country governments were gripped by fear psychosis.

The nation heads imposed militarized curfews and lockdowns and businesses and schools were shut down. People were confined to their homes and strict measures to avoid people’s movements were enforced. But was all this fear psychosis and knee-jerk reflex needed in South Asia?

South Asia and coronavirus and lockdown

Just like other countries, South Asia also reported cases of coronavirus in its people. As of today, the number of cases worldwide is 5.92 million.

And the infected cases reported in Bhutan 33, Nepal are 1401, Pakistan 66457, Afghanistan 14525, Bangladesh 44608, India 174000, Sri Lanka 1563, and Maldives 1591.

Coronavirus lockdown in South Asia (Source: News in Asia)

Thus South Asia to date has witnessed 304178 cases of coronavirus. This is around 5.13 % of the cases worldwide. But the population of South Asia is around 25 % of the world population. Therefore, the number of cases is far less than expected for the dense population in this region.

Also, read World scandal! Lockdown or no Lockdown for coronavirus pandemic -any difference?

What do these figures mean?

One might state that the low figures might be because the testing rates in these countries compared to that in the world were low.

But despite this, there have been no reports that the health care system and hospitals of these nations were overwhelmed due to the coronavirus cases.

But in China, the USA, Europe, and North America, the situation had completely strained their health care system.

Lockdown in Sri Lanka (Source: The Strait Times)

South Asia does have a relatively more poor population who live near each other. The health system is also inadequate and despite all this, the pandemic has not hit this part of the world as badly as it had the Western World.

The low figures might be partly explained by the lockdown. But were these strict measures required in this part of the World?

And besides, did the regional leaders even think of the long-term implications that these militarized curfews had on the economy of South Asia?

The impact on the poor people and the economy of South Asia

The curfews were imposed in this region at short notice. India and Sri Lanka started the lockdown in a matter of 4 hours. This did not leave enough time for the migrant laborers to return to their homes.

Many walked for long distances to reach their hometowns and died midway in between due to hunger and other reasons.

But Pakistan PM did foresee the impact of the lockdown on its economy and did not impose the strict lockdown. This could serve as a control group in the region.

Coronavirus would run its natural course and infections and deaths may happen due to it. But was the devastation of the economy and killing of the livelihoods of daily wagers necessary?

Lockdown in Nepal (Source: HT)

Did the lockdown serve any real purpose? The fear psychosis led to this reaction of sudden lockdown.

But after the coronavirus pandemic has ebbed, it would be time to dissect the situation and see whether lockdown could have been avoided and the economy saved in the process without compromising on the health of the citizens!!! Could a middle path have been better in this region?

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