The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, had invited suggestions from people for deciding about the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the city after May 17.
I had sent the following letter to Kejriwal. [ You can click here to download the letter. ]
Suggestions on Coronavirus Lockdown Relaxations in Delhi
May 12, 2020
Dear Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Delhi
I am a journalist and I also publish “Covid Health Bulletin” magazine that covers global coronavirus (Covid-19) news and views. This has reference to your appeal inviting suggestions from the citizens regarding lifting of restrictions on coronavirus lockdown.
I find it extremely shocking to note that you are calling ordinary people to use their gut feeling to make a decision which should be based only on scientific evidence. Plus, you have not revealed how you will process the unstructured data received from thousands of people who may respond to your appeal.
If you are not making the data public and not using any Big Data analytic technology to analyze the data for decision making, your appeal – as usual – is a hogwash. And actually you have decided what you want to do.
If you really want citizens’ participation in your decision-making process, you should first truthfully release coronavirus data on different parameters such as countable coronavirus tests, types of tests, probability of getting a test, number of contacts traced per infected person, quarantine as a percentage of traced contacts, number of recovered cases, durability of recovery, and the recurrence of infection in recovered cases.
In this regard, a few days ago I sent you a list of queries to take your response. But you did not reply. Obviously, you want to hide the truth while the coronavirus infection is spreading across the city.
I also suggest you to use the Coronavirus Impact Index (CII) that I have recently developed to help governments make data-based decisions instead of imposing their whims arbitrarily on citizens.
As regards economic recovery, you must put people before profits and never lift lockdown restrictions for the next couple of months until you have reliable data to make your decisions. If you relax the restrictions now, the eventual healthcare costs will be far higher than what you are trying to gain by reopening the businesses.
You can order to open the shops of essential items, but at this stage never open the organized businesses (small, medium, large) such as factories and companies. If these businesses experienced another wave of coronavirus after lifting the restrictions, they will go into extinction and will never be able to recover again.
You can ask these businesses to leverage the lockdown period to revamp their business development and marketing processes in order to operate in the new technology-driven business world that will emerge after the coronavirus pandemic.
If you want to cut costs, you should remove most bureaucrats (almost 90%) from your government because the bureaucrats in the Delhi Government are extremely inefficient and corrupt. Similarly, you should ask your MLAs that they should not take even a single rupee of the public money, as they can easily survive without taking government money.
At this stage of the pandemic, you must focus on collecting the right data and analyzing it properly to take the right decisions. More importantly, you should care for the poor people who are not only infected by the virus, but who are also facing umpteen financial hardships.
I expect you to respond to this crisis as an honest leader and chalk out long-term strategies to deal with the virus which is likely to stay for the coming many months.
With these facts, I suggest that you should extend and order a complete lockdown for the next couple of months. All your future decisions must be based on transparently shared medical inputs and scientific data.
Wish you and your government all the best.
Today (May 14), Kejriwal claimed that he has received more than 500,000 suggestions and already analyzed them. But he did not reveal the process that he followed to read and analyze these large number of suggestions in just one day. As Kejriwal is known for telling blatant lies, he cannot be trusted.
दिल्लीवासियों, दिल्ली में लॉकडाउन में कितनी ढील दी जाए- इस पर अपने सुझाव देने के लिए बहुत बहुत शुक्रिया। 5 लाख से ज़्यादा सुझाव मिले हैं। आपके सुझावों के आधार पर हम केंद्र सरकार को दिल्ली से संबंधित प्रस्ताव भेजेंगे। https://t.co/hiT4Emefod
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 14, 2020
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