The Covid-19-induced lockdowns, ordered and self-imposed, could last a while. A new epicenter has emerged in Europe. The US has been caught off-guard. South-east Asia—India included—the WHO fears, could be heading towards community transmission. Most important, nobody seems sure of how and when the virus will let up. So, March 31, the date on which mobility and other restrictions will be up for review in several countries, may not see alert levels drop.
With over 7,400 lives already claimed, an alarming numbers of fatalities being projected (one to two million deaths in the US alone, according to one estimate), and the global economy expected to take at least a trillion dollar hit as per UN estimates, containing the pandemic and saving lives and livelihoods must assume priority for governments, indeed all of us, till such time as is necessary.
Of special concern must be the situation of the elderly and the immunosuppressed, groups most likely to succumb to Covid-19, and informal sector workers and small businesses who typically have little cushion against any earning disruption, let alone the prolonged one in prospect.