With a massive shortage of ICU beds, ventilator, oxygen and Remdesivir injections, people across the nation are running from pillar to post to somehow save their brother, sister, mother, son, daughter, father and neighbour. The entire country is in chaos, shock, depression and there doesn’t seem one single ray of hope yet. On the contrary, on April 22, India crossed the global record by reporting 3,14,000 new cases of coronavirus in a single day.
While several countries across the world faced multiple waves of Covid-19, what led to this sudden huge covid crisis in India?
Complacency Is Definitely to Blame – The Sab Changa Si Attitude
In response to contain the surge, the government offered little in the form of concrete measures. While, India was one amongst the few countries that enforced a nationwide lockdown in March 2020, as the numbers declined the government dropped its watch and even bragged how successfully they have been controlling the infection and how India has a low mortality rate when compared to many other nations across the globe.
In November 2020 after winning the Bihar elections PM Narendra Modi said that,
“Bihar poll results have endorsed the way we have tackled the Covid-19 crisis situation in India.”
This ‘Sab Changa Si’ attitude became a virus in itself and suddenly things became so normal as if Covid-19 was no longer a major concern.
Had the Government Prioritized and Prepared the Country for the Second Wave, This Huge Covid Crisis in India Could Have Been Fought Valiantly
Unlike the other nations across the globe, the Indian government did not prepare the country for the return of Coronavirus. The major concern that has hit the nation in the second wave is the shortage of supply of medical necessities amidst other things.
The lack of Oxygen in certain states have caused many deaths. While, the exports of Oxygen have earned a lot of flak, it is interesting to note that India produces 7,200 MT of Oxygen daily which is enough to support the current requirement. However, it is the uneven supply and logistics that has led to a massive oxygen crisis in some states.
Secondly, while the country was already fighting the second wave and the virus was spreading like wildfire, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers were busy campaigning in five states for the state assembly elections. The ministers were not just addressing massive rallies but even praising the countrymen for turning out in large numbers.
The pandemic protocols were violated by both those who were organizing the rallies and those who were attending the rallies. And this is not at all debatable as the entire nation is a testimony to that through newspapers, news channels, viral videos, Tweets and Facebook lives.
Then there was Kumbh Mela in Haridwar that became the super spreader event. From April 10 to April 14, 2167 people were found to be Covid-19 positive. Although PM Modi declared on April 17 to keep Kumbh Mela as symbolic event, by that time, it had already done the damage – taking the lives of two prominent Hindu seers too. The event should have been symbolic right from the start, don’t you think so?
And the most tragic news to be told is that the actual year of the Kumbh Haridwar was 2022 not 2021 but it was organized this year in order to meet some astrological configurations. So, the central government as well as the state government of Uttarakhand instead of thinking about public health pushed Kumbh Mela a year before to meet something that is absolutely superficial.
Lastly, despite being the biggest vaccine producer, India has been in a huge mess, courtesy the government’s handling of the vaccine rollout. Going by the IE report, India had exported more vaccines by March than it had administered to its own people. The result, while only a fraction of the people has got their first dose and the country is already short of vaccine.
Being one of the largest manufacturers of the vaccine, the government instead of going by the vaccine diplomacy should have used it as a chance to vaccinate a large number of the population while addressing the liabilities within the health system that have been exposed by the second wave.
And now amidst the huge Covid crisis in India, PM Modi has announced that from May 1, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. It remains unclear though how almost 1 billion people will be vaccinated with the existing vaccine shortage across states as many still wait for their second shot.
Looks like India and Indians has to keep on paying for the consequences of the Government’s mismanagement.
Featured Image Cartoon by Satish Acharya via Twitter