65 news cases have been identified in Udaipur district over the weekend, with 29 cases on Saturday, 8 August and 36 cases on Sunday, 9 August. District Collector implemented the weekend lockdown with effect from 9 August.
Interestingly, the Sunday lockdown has been initiated as the first step in controlling the spread. However, the kind of activity and traffic as well as rush that is being witnessed in the public and tourist places across the other days of the week, especially Saturday evening, will not really impact the numbers if the lockdown is only implemented on Sunday. Further, the upcountry and rural areas are playing a bigger role as compared to the lockdown period.
Even today, as the lockdown was effected today, people were seen moving around and the police was making sure that they were informed and sent back. Even some shops were seen open and were asked to close.
The Collector, Chetan Deora, in his addess to the media said that the weekend lockdown is the first step in an attempt to break the infection chain once again. Udaipur had participated completely in the unlock process that began on June 1. Since then barring the month of June, when the district had witnessed an average of 5 cases per day, the number of cases in August have risen to nearly 36 per day. At the time of reporing these number, the number of positive cases in Udaipur has risen by 326 in the first 9 days of August.
Of the 1630 total positive cases in Udaipur district, 566 belong to the rural upcountry areas. Of these 566 cases, 470 cases have come since June 1, when the lockdown restrictions were lifted. A couple of weeks before the lockdown restrictions were lifted from the urban areas, plenty of leverage was given to the rural areas to kick start their economy. Opening up of markets and the influz of illegal migrants and later the legal migrants made the cases shoot up.
Instead, the District Administration, in consultation with the healthcare department, police and probably media and the business associations of Udaipur, look at a daily lockdown on timings, especially in the public areas. If Fatehsagar, Gulab Bagh, Sukhadia Circle, Deen Dayal Upadhyay park, etc can once again be brought under the dual window timing for the day, could make a larger impact. The morning timings should be restricted from 5am till 10am and evening timings from 5pm till 8pm.
The rising cases of COVID19 will necessarily cease through immense public participation and adherence to guidelines. Udaipur cannot afford another comprehensive lockdown.