Lockdown Lessons – 1

India is on Lockdown for couple of weeks as a response to tackle Corona disease. Looking back at how the events unfolded , it can be said with certainty that immense effort has been put at leadership and society level. It was refreshing to note that most of people contributed in positive way barring a small segment which continued with its negativity discourse. Yet there were some glaring short comings which need to be analysed and highlighted. To analyse this let us look at some key Landmark Events :

  • News of dreaded disease in Wuhan, China and images and videos on how it was controlled by strict lock downs.
  • Indian Government taking steps to bring back its nationals from Wuhan.
  • Gradual restrictions on International Flights leading to Janta Curfiew and Total Lockdown for 21 Days.
  • Mass exodus of Migrant Labour in Delhi NCR and other parts of India.
  • News of Nizamuddin Religious Sect gathering which led to large scale spread of virus in different parts of India. This led to massive exercise to track down the Attendees of this gathering.

While analysing above incidents following points need elaboration :

  • Wuhan Incident :

After Wuhan Incident , response time of our system was bit late. Chinese economy is closely linked to Global and Indian Economy. Some one in our System should have been tracking the Wuhan Development much more closely and restrictions on International Travel and Visitors should have taken place much more earlier.

  • Migrant Workers Issue :

Mass Movement of Migrant Workers from Delhi NCR and other parts of country was an eye opener. Agony of Poor Workers was evident from images of these people. These incidents  not only gave a bad press to country but also increased the risk of defeating entire purpose of Lockdown.

It was evident that no one in system has anticipated issues related to Migrant Workers. These incidents could have been avoided with better planning and coordination. Some one in system should have factored issue of migrant workers before taking the Lock down decision. Temporary Shelters with Food and other arrangements could have been made in advance along with better Communication with these labours.This again proves weakness of our Governance System in Terms of Planning and Execution for decisions of such.

  • Nizamuddin Religious Sect Fiasco :

This incident was Shocking and brought out in open Fault lines of our Governance System. Such a large gathering was going in heart of Delhi , foreigners were roaming across India in violation of all Visa Rules and no one raised an alert in our system. The enormity of system failure is reflected from fact that same gathering happened on Malaysia a sometime back , which led to sharp spike in Corona Positive Cases. Yet no one was alerted in our system and visas were given.


All three points mentioned reflect weakness of our Governance System in terms of at Planning, Execution and Review Levels. Some of suggestions are as below :

  • Alert System :  Our Intelligence and Alert System needs immediate attention.Right Alerts should have gone to right persons to prevent such incidents.Our Intelligence System needs to be more effective. Apart from conventional Intelligence gathering mechanism, we need an Third Party Independent Alert system which can generate Alerts and highlight in a way that it reaches to people who matter. Alerts should also be generated from Public to highlight any such incidents.

Right Information in Right Form at Right Time to Right Persons at Right Platforms is key to a Dynamic Information System. A link to my earlier article on same is given below.

  • . Planning & Forecasting : Migrant Workers problem was not factored in this decision. It is evident that Decision Making Process needs improvement. How can such a big factor be ignored ? This is also the issue of Accountability. Responsibility must be fixed and action taken.
  • Central Control Number :  Lack of correct information was evident in past few weeks. Decisions were taken fast at Central and State Levels and people at large had no platform to get right information. From very beginning there should have been a Call Centre with a Central Control Number. This number should have been publicized. Any one could just ring this number and call centre could have connected him to right person at Central and State Level.

This type of Call Centre can be set up at a short notice and can be done even now. It can be a permanent set up which can be used for any future need.

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