Concern About COVID Superspreader, But Farmers Say New Laws Pose Bigger Threat

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New Delhi: Even as experts are getting increasingly worried over the farmers’ agitation turning out to be a COVID-19 superspreader event, farmers believe that the new farm laws pose a bigger threat to their survival.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and some from Haryana Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, have been protesting at Delhi’s border and at the Burari ground. Some are wearing masks but many are without face covers.

The farmers, who are threatening to block all five entry points into the national Capital, are aware that the pandemic is still raging, and yet they feel the agitation is more important in respect to their lives and livelihoods.

“We may even survive corona, but how will we survive this cruel law that will take away our bread and butter,” Gurmeet Singh from Faridkot was quoted as saying by PTI.

Dr Samiran Panda, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases division at Indian Council of Medical Research, had a word of caution for all stakeholders.

“A protest is a mass gathering and thus from a public health perspective, I would urge protective and preventive behaviour against the spread of coronavirus infection, failing which a superspreading event might set in,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

He added that it must not be forgotten that SARS-COV-2 is a transmission efficient virus and such gatherings are conducive to its spread.

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