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Most people favour easing lockdown in districts with no Covid: LocalCircles

79 per cent in favour of unlocking all districts with no cases after April 15

Agency Report | New Delhi | 28 April, 2020 | 11:10 PM

Almost half or around 47 per cent of people are in favour of continuing the lockdown till the last week of May in districts with Covid-19 cases after April 15, as per a survey by LocalCircles.

However, 79 per cent of the citizens are in favour of unlocking all districts with no cases after April 15.

Around 63 per cent of the citizens are in favour of keeping public transportation systems (air, rail, bus) shut in districts that are kept locked post May 3.

LocalCircles said the survey makes it clear that the collective is in favour of opening the lockdown in all districts with no cases after April 15, while keeping only the hotspots in these districts under lockdown.

In districts where there have been active cases after April 15, people are divided about whether the lockdown should be extended till the last week of May or should it be extended just for the hotspots.

A total of 47 per cent of the people are on each side of the argument and the LocalCircles view is that the government should take the side of caution, at least in the 27 high load districts.

As far as opening of intercity public transportation systems i.e. air, train and bus travel goes, 63 per cent people are in favour of keeping them shut in districts where the lockdown is extended post May 3.

LocalCircles will submit the findings of this study to Central and state governments for them to decide the way forward, taking into consideration the collective opinion.

People have been divided in their thinking on how the unlocking of the unprecedented 40-day lockdown should be done.

Some people are in favour of complete unlocking, while others want partial unlocking. LocalCircles conducted a survey among the citizens to check their views on the process of easing the lockdown. The three-poll survey received more than 24,000 votes from 254 districts across India

In the first question, citizens were asked for districts with new Covid-19 cases after April 15 — how should the Government of India go about lockdown after May 3.

Twenty per cent said the government should keep them fully locked till May 23, i.e. for another 20 days, while 27 per cent said the government should keep them fully locked till May 31.

Forty-seven per cent said these districts should be unlocked fully post May 3 but the hotspots within the districts should be kept locked down.

Only 5 per cent said they should be fully unlocked post May 3.

The next question asked for the districts with no new Covid-19 case after April 15 or no Covid-19 cases at all till date — how should the Government of India go about lockdown.

Seven per cent said such districts should be kept fully locked till May 23 while 12 per cent said such districts should be kept fully locked till May 31.

Sixty-seven per cent said these districts should be unlocked fully post May 3 but the old hotspots, if applicable within the districts, should be kept locked down. Twelve per cent want the government to unlock them fully post May 3 even if there are old hotspots that were identified prior to April 15.

When asked how should the public transportation (air, rail, inter-city bus) function after May 3, 32 per cent said all inter-district transportation systems must be kept shut, 29 per cent said only inter-district transportation between unlocked districts must be opened, while 34 per cent said all inter-district transportation systems must be opened up with travel restrictions imposed only in locked down districts.

LocalCircles said this is quite a tricky issue as the top 27 high load cities in the country are also hubs of travel and hence how can a system be designed where intercity public travel can be permitted while using the hub while citizens who reside in that city are still subject to lockdown restrictions.

It is like a train going from Amritsar to Jabalpur without stopping at the New Delhi station which may be quite hard to implement and make the route economically unviable.