Call for national solidarity…



The Covid19 pandemic has now infected people’s lungs in their millions and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands. No country is à l’abri, from the most industrialized and rich nations to the poorest surviving economies.

Similarly, it bites into any social class, community, race, religion or political affiliation and its victims both at home and abroad is an illustration of how indiscriminate it can be. It will not choose between royal princes and prime ministers, it makes no difference whether you are hollywood star or corporate ceo or homeless (sdf).

Being a new disease, it has taken the whole world by surprise and medical science is still at a loss in understanding and thus dealing with its consequences, and it has also cornered the political elite of the world.

Playing politics

It is therefore of bad faith for some to be making such criticisms as “ amateurs, trial and error, or incompétence”, good willed people all over the world are putting their heads together and working hard trying to find a cure for this plague. Let it be said, en passant, some powerful and developed democracies like the UK are today starting the strategy of quarantine and contact tracing, something we’ve been doing successfully for the past six weeks!

It’s only here in Mauritius that we are bored to death listening to the same broken record, decade after decade, from some self-proclaimed intéllos, pseudo editors and serial election losers that anything performed by the government is amateurish and lacks competence. And this is not about the Pravind’s government: it’s about any government, it was the same for PM Navin, for PM Paul, for PM SAJ, for PM SSR, and before them against the British colonial government; they are the mouthpiece of their paymasters from the retrograde private sector always finding something to protest in the government’s action. But, today the context is different: it’s a life and death situation. So, stop it!

We need people to come together and fight only one war, or else we are doomed, all of us. So as to mitigate the impact of this deadly virus, politicians, scientists and social economists will need to put their heads together and find a compromise  on how to implement a damage limitation strategy.

It is this urgency that got Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, dg of the WHO to make a world appeal for all stakeholders to work together because as he puts it, “any politicisation of the pandemic and division of the world effort will create a crack that will be exploited by the virus”. And he was not reacting to Donald Trump histrionics only, he surely was alerting world opinion on the risks of division against the common invisible enemy and the consequent delay in containing it.

Social behaviour

It is nevertheless very promising to see the mainstream Mauritian people is consuming the message and has overwhelmingly supported the government’s strategy to beat the virus. After weeks of social isolation-quaratines-contact tracing-testing and treating, it seems we are now reaching a plateau, that we have successfully contain the chain of contamination and we should soon be gradually coming out of the sanitary lockdown.

We still need to make a further sacrifice and hold on for the next few weeks, fight all Covid fatigue and stay disciplined with our social distancing. We will need to avoid a collision course between politicians on the one hand and between economists, scientists and social behaviourists on the other. The way we relate to other individuals, our family, our work and to society in general may have changed during this containment period and they would need a rehabilitation and reconstruction period.

Economics

The IMF and OECD are forecasting an acute recession of the world economy during the weeks we look to gradually come out of lockdown. Business Mauritius has raised their worries on the local economic climate and it’s incidence on the main pillars of our economy as much as the domino effect on our PMEs, informal sector and most importantly our thousands of wage earners.

Right at the beginning of the crisis, the government took the bull by the horns to mitigate the economic impact on households, especially the most vulnerable members of the community. Dr Padayachi, Minister of Finance, injected Rs 9b under his Plan de Soutien aux Entreprises and addressed the loss of earnings of the main pillars of our economy. He further came out with a Wage Assistance Scheme safeguarding food supply to families being out of work. Particular attention was given to the self employed and those working in the informal sector including our artists.

The Bank of Mauritius further injected to the volume of Rs 5b through its Special Relief Programme to alleviate the difficulty of business borrowers and homeowners’ loans.

Togetherness

With a robust health strategy targeting the containment of the Covid19 and an accompanying financial package supporting vulnerable families, the government under the  leadership of PM Pravind Jugnauth gets the credit of having mitigated the damage and the people of Mauritius gets the credit of having understood the importance of the lockdown and social distancing. Without this synergy, we would be now facing some social degeneration and societal chaos. It’s very important that the civil society joins hands in this national effort.

God forbids, should we reach a situation of a breakdown of the state of society, we stand the risk of having to face the chaotic reality of the state of nature where rules the laws of survival of the fittest and individuals reign over individuals. That’s the chaos we have a duty to avoid and we can only do it in solidarity, oneness and discipline and present a unique and unconditional front against our common enemy of today: Covid19.

We just don’t have a choice!

Vijay Ram

16.04.20

Posted by on Apr 30 2020. Filed under Politique. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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