A nation of around 1.3 billion people is locked down in the efforts of battling the Corona Virus which has taken the world by the storm. This is a difficult time and a single miscalculation can cost unimaginable loss of life and property. It is essential for India to take a lesson from Europe and United States who are ahead of the curve and already facing the worst.
India has taken two steps backwards in its fight against the virus which might undo a lot of effective steps that have been taken so far.
Firstly, as India enters the stage of community transmission, it can see an explosion of cases any moment now specially with the religious gatherings siding with the virus against humanity. At this stage, the transparency and free flow of information is of utmost importance so as to ensure adequate measures by the citizens. On the contrary, the Ministry has asked the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to submit the report of number of tests conducted to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare instead of releasing them in the public domain. The Ministry will then issue a press release twice in a day regarding India’s progress against the virus. This step is against the ethos of free press which is critical at this moment.
Secondly, another bizarre step taken by the government is the order to import masks and 10,000 ventilators from China. It is established beyond doubt that CCP’s criminal negligence unleashed a monster upon the world and instead of remorse, China’s wet markets are up and running again selling bats and other wildlife animals unabated.
Moreover, no less than three countries have called out China for exporting faulty equipment in the times of dire need. Dutch Health Ministry recalled 600,000 face masks for being below standard while many of them had already been distributed to frontline medical staff. Turkey and Spain also recalled hundreds and thousands of masks and test kits as they were substandard and inefficient.
Is India in a position to afford the time and money wasted on faulty equipment? Can India risk putting the life of medical staff and patients on line if the masks and ventilators bought from China turn out to be inefficient for the fourth time?
Yes, there is a scarcity of medical equipment but are Chinese manufacturers the only way forward? If there is a scarcity, then why was 90 tonnes of medical protective equipment exported from India to Serbia in the flight funded by European Union in an initiative managed by UN Development Program?
These are relevant questions to ensure minimum damage to the life and property of Indian citizens. Those who fail to take lessons from others’ mistakes always go down on the wrong side of the history.
The government of India is answerable to the public that at a time when every citizen needs to know the extent to which the virus has spread so as to better prepare oneself, how are these irresponsible actions justified?