An ‘over-enthusiastic’ response of public in Assam by bursting crackers and coming out on streets to the thanksgiving initiative through clapping and beating of utensils for essential service providers in wake of COVID-19 scare has raised concerns about how well the people have gauged the need for social distancing.
The state had responded with a near-total shutdown to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for janata curfew from 7am-9pm on March 22 to ‘break the chain’ of COVID-19 infection.
Just as the clock struck 5pm, people in different parts of the state came out on their balconies and verandas and started clapping, blowing conches, beating cymbals and utensils to show their gratitude to the providers of essential services, as urged by the prime minister.
Though the prime minister had asked the people to confine themselves to their balconies and front doors for the thanksgiving gesture, in many parts people were seen gathering on their rooftops, courtyards and streets to participate in this initiative.
People in Paltan Bazaar area of Guwahati even took out a procession through the lanes, participated by even children, while clapping and beating utensils.
In many areas, crackers were even burst as part of the gesture with steps reported to have been taken by the civil and police administration to stop these.
Assam has not reported any positive case of COVID-19 so far, though the state government has been adopting heightened precautionary measure to ensure no outbreak of the pandemic.