The COVID-19 Lockdown
Gurpreet Kaur Sher Singh
TABLE OF CONTENT
TABLE OF CASES/STATUTES MANDATORY
SERIES/EFFECTS OF LOCKDOWN
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ARTICLES WITH JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENT
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES
TABLE OF CASES
K. Ramakrishna, s/o. K. Rangaiah vs. The Union of India and Others
Suo Motu vs. State of Rajasthan
Japinder Singh vs. Union of India and Others
Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi vs. The State of Maharashtra and Others
Amit Bhargava vs. The State (NCT of Delhi)
Settu S/o. Govindaraj. Vs. The State, rep by the Inspector of Police, Vallam Police Station.
Mahendra Singh vs. Commissioner of Police and amp; Ors.
World Health Organization
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
National Disaster Management Authority
Chief Justice of India
Quick Response Team
Corona-virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
Public Interest Litigation
COVID-19 is a disorder of the health generated by a newly discovered strain of corona-virus. The word COVID-19 is formed as “CO” denotes corona, “VI” denotes virus and “D” denotes disease. There are seven types of coronaviruses, but the second form which attacks only humans and animals like bats, cattle, camel and hence, it became a pandemic named “Novel Corona Virus” also called SARS-CoV-2. In here, it is severe acute respiratory syndrome since it attacks through inflammatory organs, it is named likewise. On the other hand, “CoV” is corona virus and “2” refers for the second type of the corona virus out of the seven. This virus emerged from Wuhan (China).
Lockdown is a situation where people stay in quarantine or limitation access introduced as a safety measure. It was 24th of March, 2020 when the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced a country-wide lockdown. The lockdown first started with 21 days; the action was taken for the people as a safety measure against the spread of corona-virus. The spread of corona-virus was at peak and after researching even the best doctors of best nations were not able to provide any medical solution for this health disorder. WHO confirmed the number of deaths due covid infection on 23rd March, 2020. The cases were – 334,000 infected and more than 14,000 people died to infection globally. On the report given by WHO, the central health ministry reported the number of cases confirmed in India has reached to 564 on 24th March. Therefore, there cannot be seen any solution to this problem then locking up the whole nation. The Government suspended all the domestic flights to the end of March expecting for the lowering of the cases. This was the emergency situation that brought all the 30 States and the Union territories for complete lock-up, and strict punishments were introduced for the violation of any of the covid protocols.
However, Lockdown brought many sorrows and happiness to people – the businesses were shut down, the India suffered a downfall of economy, many people lost their near and dear ones, etc.
SERIES OF LOCKDOWN
The first phase of lockdown came into action on 25th March, 2020 as announced by the PM on 24thMarch evening, it was for 21 days. As it ordered for every individual to stay at home it called for strict curfews which made executives (Police officers) to over work day and night and the “Heroes” of covid war the “Doctors” who kept treating the infected patients. As the 1st lockdown was imposed to the initial of this phase the observers stated to be decreasing cases till 6thApril but it took an instant spike on increasing the cases by every six days and then it multiplied to two it started to increase by every 8 days. Soon the 1st phase of lockdown was going to end the State and other Authorities made decision to stretch the Lockdown. The initiative was taken by States like Odisha and Punjab to stretch it to 1st May, the other States Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Telangana followed the path. Later the PM stretched the country-wide lockdown till 3rd May on the request of Governors and Lieutenant Governors of all the States, this was the second phase of covid lockdown (2.0). This phase was further extended to 17 May further to 31st May by NDA. The Government planned a strategy to divide the district into different colour zones to identify the lower and higher number of cases. The relief to the districts were provided according to the colour of the zones identified. There were three colour zones GREEN, RED, and ORANGE. Red zone represented the higher number of covid cases and seeks greater attention by the authorities with strict lockdown, the districts with redzones were called hotspot district. The Orange zones contained a smaller number of cases than Red Zones and less emergency cases as well, in this zone a limited relaxation was allowed like limited number of public transport and farm products were allowed. Green zones represented safe zone as Government stated that district having green zones means no corona positive cases has been reported.
After phasing these two phases of lockdown the phase of unlocking the nation also came. The unlocking of nation with lesser restriction began in the Nation. The curfews had not stopped but it was limited to time scheduled by the State. The unlock continued 2.0 from 1stto 31st July, unlock 3.0 from 1st August in this way it stayed till unlock 7.0 till December but the unlock couldn’t stayed for longer as the second wave of virus arrived in the nation the partial lockdown was again declared in some States like UP and Delhi in the month of April, 2021.
The 2nd wave again created a danger situation as death rate increased. The WHO stated one lakh, fifty-seven-thousand and nine-hundred-seventy approx. deaths all over the world. Infected Cases increased with death rates in districts of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jaipur, etc.
EFFECTS OF LOCKDOWN ON HUMAN/SOCIETY AND ECONOMY OF THE WHOLE NATION
IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON HUMANS/SOCIETY
In urban areas and fast-moving cities people have no time for their family it is rare if they even take out 2 hours for their closed ones, this lockdown forced people to spent time with their families and their dear ones. It was reported that this lockdown actually made people to spent time with their own selves, they discovered the best in them some followed their passion of cooking, some started learning how to bake cakes and many more but the good never comes without bad. Although many things were changing many were learning the importance of family on the other hand cases of domestic violence also raised in number of houses, some were making their bonds stronger while some were losing jobs, loosing hope, lockdown even gave rise to suicide cases, their labours/workers were experiencing fear of future stability, scarcity of food and other necessities were seen, students were stuck in the hostels were unable to return their homes, due to total lock up in transport facilities the workers couldn’t return their villages, many migrants died while returning home faced road accidents, many died on the railway tracts.However, there was still hope some real-life heroes who trying to help in this emergency situation one of the examples was set by the Bollywood actor Sonu Sood tried helping students, migrants and many.
2) DOCTORS AND POLICE OFFICERS
When all the Nation people were spending time with their families Doctors and Officers were never off duty in this emergency situation. Doctors tried their best treating people but some situations were forcing doctors to fail in their mission, the sufferings of doctors did not stop to only treating people they also faced some brutal attacks by people in anger. It was observed in Indore 2 doctors (women) were wounded because a five-member team was attacked by stones at Taatpatti Bakhal location while they were carrying their work of tracking a person who came into touch with Covid patient, this information was stated by PI. A doctor and the medical staff in Hyderabad were physically attacked on duty, as family members of 49 aged person died in the Gov. Hospital of Hyderabad. After taking all this into account the Director General of Police M Mahendar Reddy directed the strict punishment against the injustice done and safety measures will be taken. At location Mungar town in Bihar, PI and medical personnel were assaulted by the regional people there when the medical staffs and PI were present there assemble sample reports of corona positive or suspected to be positive. A QRT team consisting of PI and an ambulance having medical staff were attacked by stones, a police jeep was vandalized in the incident at Hazratganj. In Delhi a policeman was brutally attacked as he tried to make people follow the protocols of and maintain the 21 days Lockdown order. And many more, sufferings of Doctors and PI were incomparable to any other.
IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON ECONOMY OF THE WHOLE NATION
Lockdown has adversely affected the economy of India, private business went down, people experienced a downfall in their financial conditions, there was not one person whose economic condition was not injured. The Nomura India Business stated that experienced downfall of economic exercise from 82.9 to 44.7 from 22 March to 26 April, 2020. Unemployment increased from 6.7 percent to 26 percent comparing from 15 March to 19 March. Experts reported fifty-three percent of business were affected badly, and it was assumed to suffer the loss over rupees 32,000 crore every day in the period of complete 21-days. Crucial and big fat companies in India for instance Ultra Tech Cement, Tata Motors, Aditya Birla Group, BHEL, and many more have lessened their projects in this period. Not only the business man but Farmers also faces uncertainty of their future. It was SENSEX and NIFTY so far who have gained extreme level profit one day after the Lockdown was declared on 25th March, 2020. The researchers after the survey stated, median business was left with only two-week cash kept who once use to spent more than $10,000 monthly. Also, a large number of Businesses thought to look for funding by means of CARES Act. The inflows of external private finance are expected to fall by USD 700 billion as compared to 2019.
Where all the businesses and companies were experiencing downfall and losses the sanitization production industries were gaining heavy profit as it was the need of the emergency time. Not only sanitizers but some personal hygiene needs also increased and therefore the demand for soaps, hand wash, tissue papers, and sanitizers increased in the market, gaining extreme profit. The report also stated market size of hand sanitizers has reached USD 1.35 Billion in the year 2020 it was before the covid period and currently it is expected to reach 1.87 billion in present year.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ARTICLES WITH JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENTS
Though we have many phases of lockdown the Judiciary did not stop working. It seeked virtual methods to provide justice and held hearing online. Some of the judgements passed by SC and HC during this emergency situation will be briefed respectively.
In the Case named K. Ramakrishna, s/o K. Rangaiah vs. The Union of India and others, the writ petition was registered under art. 226 of Indian Constitution in opposition to the State Order of forbidding the migrant workers/labors to move to their respective villages/hometowns, an argument was held claiming not having a secure traveling, not making food and other necessities available to the workers is the infringement in their fundamental rights. In response to which the Court stated keeping in mind the range of life which refers to Art. 21 of Indian Constitution and therefore, Court directed the State to take auxiliary actions in building strong medical facilities, making food and safe transportation available for the workers, although this wouldn’t miss lead us from the path of following Lockdown protocols.
In Suo moto vs. State of Rajasthan 2020, PIL was filed on the grounds of news presented in various channels of Rajasthan HC declaring that huge number of prisoners approximately 55 including both convicts and under trials at Jaipur District jails were suspected to be corona positive. Keeping in mind the emergency situation of covid 19, the judgement was passed seeking directions safety actions and cautions to be maintained for the prisoners at District Jail of Jaipur.
In the case Japinder v. UOI & Others, the Uttarakhand HCheld that the parents are not obliged to pay fees for private schools and teachers of that schools cannot force the parents to pay the fees as their children are not accessing the virtual classes due to the problem of accessing internet at a hilly state like Uttarakhand.
Bombay HC in the case Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi vs. The State of Maharashtra & Othersstated that in the present scenario, the workers ready to work but the situations do not let them to do so, therefore, the principle of no work no wage will not be applied in the exceptional situations, also directed the District Collector, Osmanabad to provide full wages in his ability.
The judgement regarding isolation period cannot be strictly deficient to 14 days was held in the case Amit Bhargava vs. The State (NCT of Delhi), Delhi HC.
In the case Settu S/o. Govindaraj. Vs. The State, rep by the Inspector of Police, Vallam Police Station, Madras HC held restrictions of registering of final reports under section 167 of CrPc is not stretched.
Isolation benefits cannot be utilized by the police to keep apart who according to them are of irritant value. This was held in the case Mahendra Singh vs. Commissioner of Police and amp; Ors 2020. By Bombay HC
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES
It was not only India who planned the strategy of Lockdown to stop the spread of corona-virus there were some other countries too who adapted the idea of locking-up the nation as this was the only method, they could see to at least lower speed of spreading this virus. Also, new strain of corona virus has been seen in response to which some countries are reimposing the lockdown as well. Following are some nations who adapted the same safety measure.
Various European Nations have again imposed the lockdown like sixteen regions of France counting Paris in the list are presently following the lockdown protocols as the nation is afraid of third wave of virus.
Poland is another nation where rising number of cases is observed from the month of November, also the authorities have adapted new measures to fight back with it.
Hungary was too included in the list it has stretched the Covid-19 limitations from 8 March, also the schools their nurseries and primary will remain closed. Following all the protocols with some relief as essential needs shops to be kept open.
Italy is still fighting hard with this virus as the spike of corona virus cases is not ending, some of the areas if Italy like Rome and Milan is being declared to Red-Zones which means the Hotspot, here all the locals are requested to stay at home strictly.
Belgium reestablished the strict quarantine protocols to fight back with this increasing rate of corona positive, the State has also introduced a relief for the daily needs shops as to partially kept open and limited businesses will be allowed with proper rules. Other big and crowed places like parlors, etc. will stay closed for the time.
Philippines and Kenya and others nations too are included in the list of imposing Lockdown to fight with this novel corona virus.
The country’s fight with this corona-virus has not ended yet but the determination to fight back is also alive. Many of the countries have now been provided with the vaccines of COVID-19 and a large number of people in India have vaccinated until now, approximately, 115 crore and the lockdown has not purely finished, there are still restriction and slowly, India and other nations are un-locking as the cases are decreasing. Soon, India and other Nations will be Back to the time period when there were no empty roads, empty seats in the cinemas, playing in the parks with each other and many more. Hoping for returning to the time back soon.
● Press Trust of India
 Press Trust of India
Gurpreet Kaur Sher Singh