Coronavirus: Majority Support Lockdown Relaxations With Social Distancing Norms
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that a fourth phase of lockdown will happen, albeit in consultation with various state governments. According to a survey conducted by community platform LocalCircles, 81 per cent respondents said they supported lockdown relaxations with social distancing norms at offices, shops, and other places after May 17 in red zone districts, except the ones which have a high virus load.
The survey, which received more than 21,000 votes from people in over 277 districts, found that 24 per cent want significant relaxation with all offices and businesses being allowed to operate with social distancing norms and 57 per cent feel it should be “somewhat relaxed” and offices should operate at 33 per cent capacity.
63 per cent of the survey’s respondents were from tier-I cities, 22 per cent from tier-II and 15 per cent were from tier-III and beyond.
Approach For High Virus Load Districts
Majority of respondents were in favor of a full lockdown in red zones that have the highest number of fresh COVID-19 cases.
45 per cent said full lockdown should continue for two more weeks in these districts while 35 per cent said lockdown should be given some relaxation and only offices at 33 per cent capacity and only standalone shops should be permitted to open. 19 per cent were in favor of significant relaxation even in these districts.
In a previous survey conducted by the platform, 74 per cent citizens had said that the high virus load districts should be kept under complete lockdown and no relaxations should be given.
No Mood For Travel
One of the first industries to be negatively impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak was the travel industry, with all kinds of movement except for the ones that facilitated essential goods, restricted.
The respondents were asked whether they would travel in the coming three months if the government opened up public transportation and 72 per cent said they would not travel unless it is an absolute emergency. 9 per cent said they will not travel at all while 4 per cent said they will likely travel.
Only 11 per cent of the respondents said they would surely travel in such a scenario.
LocalCircles said it will be escalating the findings to key stakeholders in the central government and various state governments.
There have been over 75,000 confirmed cases of the virus so far in India, while nearly 25,000 people have reportedly recovered. Maharashtra has the most number of confirmed (over 24,000) cases among Indian states, followed by Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.