- Make no mistake, the country is in the grip of a second covid wave which is surpassing all previous barriers vis-à-vis confirmed infection rates and is surging ahead unabated ravaging our ill-equipped healthcare infrastructure to smithereens. Humongous population density that we are proud to keep reminding with lots of pride as demographic advantages is proving to be anything but a monumental disadvantage as millions get infected by the dreaded virus. The uptick witnessed in the number of infected cases during the last few weeks does not augur better tidings in the next couple of months at least.
PC: Satata Karmakar
- Most worryingly, the medical experts’ prediction about the infection rates reaching a peak and plateauing out is still a few weeks away portending big trouble. This prediction should be ringing alarm bells as images of major cities under seize of the pandemic are struggling to provision reassuring healthcare infrastructure since the patients seeking treatment is overwhelmingly higher than the availability of resources. It is evident that none of the stakeholders viz. the Union Government and respective State Governments anticipated the virulence of the second covid wave and are struggling to provide relief to the teeming citizens.
- The resultant outcome is not a new phenomenon for the countrymen so used to the usual machinations of blame game emanating from the political masters. Yes, we are witnessing yet another round of one-upmanship. The Union Government’s claims of ensuring an adequate supply of oxygen, drugs, ventilators, and vaccines on the ground is vehemently challenged by the opposition parties as not only inadequate to meet the demand but also accusing the former of being grossly insensitive to the needs of the suffering lot. Clinging onto the unyielding centralized controlling mechanism on every matter concerning the tackling of the pandemic has not helped either.
PC: Lee Hampton
- Of course, the Union Government has initiated few decentralized measures over the last few days like allowing overseas vaccines with necessary regulatory approvals for usage, ramping up local production of vaccines, increasing the supply of oxygen by urging the industries to divert, regulating the supply of life-saving drugs, easing the age restrictions of vaccine beneficiaries, and releasing funds to further strengthen the healthcare infrastructure. The Union Government has also allowed the State Governments to take decisions of imposing various modes of lockdowns depending on the unfolding situations.
- As is it won’t, the opposition parties are baying for the blood of the ruling dispensation and will not settle before tasting one. However, the extremely grim situation playing out requires concerted efforts from all quarters and the time is not appropriate to indulge in mud-slinging or whipping up frenzy targeting the government with vitriolic attacks. Both the Central as well as State Governments have to be on the same page to ensure better coordination by strategizing utilization of available resources to ensure the struggling people are provided succor. The post-mortem of who went wrong can be contested later.
- Let us ensure the precious lives are not lost for want of simple facilities like lack of beds, oxygen, drugs, and ventilators. Seeking support of business conglomerates running big industries to divert oxygen supply would considerably supplement the most precious commodity in saving lives. Importing oxygen too would help. The Union Government should make an impassioned plea to all political parties and their leaders by seeking cooperation to get over this crisis. More sooner the leaders join hands, the quicker the efforts to ensure relief takes effect. Please, set aside politics for now.