- Trust me, every single individual in the country would have gained some expertise on matters related to the pandemic since the information deluge is awfully relentless right from the past year till now. Even those who were found to be unaware of the raging pandemic are now exposed to the vagaries of the virus and would not mind sharing their acquired knowledge at great lengths. Aided by the electronic and print media’s wide coverage and social media acting as no less than any university in disseminating information related to the virus, ordinary citizens of the country are truly enlightened in finally understanding the menace.
PC: Megan Hiler
- Make no mistake, politics and pandemic-related matters are two hot topics that will remain in circulation for some time to come. As you are aware, the dilapidated healthcare infrastructure of the country has been hotly debated and with real justification to boot as well. It is extremely disappointing to note that even after seven decades of independence, the country’s contribution in scaling up the basic healthcare infrastructure continues to be at 1 percent of the GDP speaks volumes about our skewed priorities. It is not out of place to reiterate that two crucial elements to ensure the vibrancy of a country vis-à-vis healthcare and education have failed to attract commensurate investments to stay at par with other countries.
- We, as a country is used to respond with knee-jerk reactions is stating the obvious as the past experiences unquestioningly suggest. When the pandemic was raging last year as also courtesy of the ongoing devastatingly macabre second wave, the desperate cries for hospital beds, oxygen, ICUs, and most importantly availability of ventilators – both invasive and non-invasive – are much sought after to save critical patients. The states running helter-skelter in arranging for the life-saving equipment provided for distressing visuals starkly exposing the lack of preparedness. The boorish blame game played out between the union and state government’s hardly failed to evoke confidence in the suffering people looking for relief.
PC: Ritu Sarin
- Reports emerging in leading newspapers denuded the utter irresponsibility exhibited by the governments. Fathom this, India had 40,000 ventilators before the pandemic began last year. The Union Government sourced nearly 50,000 additional ventilators to states in a very short time which deserves due acknowledgment. As is the case everywhere with modern equipment, many ventilators are found to be dysfunctional viz. 80% of 2025 ventilators unused in Karnataka, 47 out of 109 in Bihar, 285 out of 320 in Punjab, and 1400 out of 1900 in Rajasthan. Excuses forthcoming like lack of trained staff, shortage of medical consumables, and fear of malfunction were cited for failing to operationalize these vital ventilators.
- Nothing can be more ludicrous and condemnable than the aforesaid reasons. Thankfully, few states did resolve these issues and a couple of the others are addressing the glaring anomaly now. However, the shirkers of responsibilities sworn to protect the lives of the people they serve cannot hide their institutional failure to commission training and maintenance of the ventilators. Real purposeful strategies, conscience, ownership, and mentality of servitude towards the people should propel the administration to not take umbrage under unpalatable reasoning that places the citizens’ lives at peril. Hopefully, lessons are learned and suitable action ensues sooner than later.