Protesting farmers do not wear face masks and do not observe safe-distancing guidelines that are usually given to stop the Covid contagion.
By Rakesh Raman
Hundreds of thousands of farmers, who are protesting on the borders of New Delhi, are defying all preventive norms that are generally advised to be followed to contain the spread of coronavirus.
An estimated 300,000 farmers from different states – but mostly from Punjab – have been camping on all sides of Delhi for the past one month to protest against the farm laws recently introduced by the government of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi.
Earlier, in November, Delhi Police had denied permission to farmers to enter the national capital with the argument that the farmers’ gathering will spread coronavirus in Delhi. Subsequently, farmers decided to sit at the borders instead of holding their demonstrations in the city.
As these protesting farmers have made makeshift homes in their tractor trolleys and tents, they do not wear face masks and do not observe safe-distancing guidelines that are usually given to stop the Covid contagion. However, there is hardly any report of Covid infection or death at the protest sites.
Rural Resistance: Protests by Farmers
Raman Media Network (RMN) Company – which is working in diversified content creation, management, and distribution businesses on a global scale – has launched “Rural Resistance: Protests by Farmers” editorial section.
This section under the RMN news service has been created to cover the agricultural reforms and ongoing farmers’ protests in India. It will carry news, views, and related developments and invites farmers as well as farming experts to share their views which will be published on the site.
You can click here to visit the section.
It shows that the health experts who are issuing the guidelines have not fully understood the traits of coronavirus. If this virus spreads with proximity as it is being suggested, then a large number of protesting farmers would have caught the infection by now.
Although Delhi is among the most-affected cities of India where coronavirus is said be spreading rapidly, there is no indication to conclude that the virus is increasing in the national capital because of protesters around Delhi – many of whom come from the protest sites to the national capital.
In fact, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal – who is supposed to check the spread of the virus – went to the protest site a few days ago to meet the farmers. Kejriwal encouraged farmers to continue their protests.
Since the crowds of farmers around Delhi are not infected, it proves the fact that coronavirus – and its existence – is still a conundrum for the world health community.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also runs The Outbreak magazine, which covers global coronavirus news and views.
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