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Lockdown will shake Indian economy to its foundations

13 4 12
26.03.2020

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing the nation yesterday announcing “total lockdown” in the country, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro also took to a televised address to dismiss such health measures against coronavirus as “scorched earth” tactics.

Bolsonaro is a familiar face to Indians — a good friend of Modi who invited him as the chief guest at our Republic Day celebrations in January. Both are far-right politicians and yet their attitude to coronavirus is diametrically opposite.

Modi ordered the world’s largest lockdown in human history. Almost one-fifth of mankind has been put under lockdown. Modi said, “To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out.”

According to Modi, coronavirus has the potential to “spread like wildfire”. He said, “You must remember that you will invite a grave pandemic like coronavirus to your homes if you step out.”

It suggests that the coronavirus was already circulating in the UK by mid-January, around two weeks before the first reported case

It suggests that the coronavirus was already circulating in the UK by mid-January, around two weeks before the first reported case

Bolsonaro, on the other hand, rubbished the efforts to contain coronavirus with large-scale quarantine. Dismissing coronavirus as a “media fantasy” and a “trick”, he said calmly, “The virus has arrived and we are fighting it and soon it will pass.”

He repeatedly called on authorities in his country to abandon their scorched-earth ideas. Bolsonaro urged his countrymen, “Our lives have to go on. Jobs must be kept … we must, yes, get back to normal.”

He added, “What is happening around the world has shown that the at-risk group are those over 60 years old. So why close schools? … Ninety percent of us will show no sign [of infection] if we are infected.”

Of course, while Modi has risen in stature as a “strong” leader, Bolsonaro’s address went down badly with his critics. A prominent Brazilian journalist tweeted, “The first political suicide broadcast live on national radio and television.”

Read more: Coronavirus Pandemic: This is why prevention is better than Cure........

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