So far the per day rate of enhancement of covid-19 cases in india is concerned at present, there’s no little space left to disbelieve that that the covid-19 situation of country has gone beyond the control of our country’s health administration and at the same time the union govt. of india, as it were, seems to be getting a gesture of tension-free mood, letting the situation to go ahead with time, In fact, this situation did not come in a day. Rather failure to take action in time and a continuous trend to muddle the situation with a lot a irrelevent activities on the part of union govt. of india led it to be so at present.
Following geo-political conflict on various issues, a good number of political personalities like Donald trump, Bolsenaro and president of Iran etc. are, since inception, busy to take advantage of the emergence of SARS-COV-2 at Wuhan province of china as an act of engineering it in their laboratory. In our country,govt. restrained itself from saying so, but a lot of social site-media led by the outfit organizations of the ruling political party were allowed to air the misinformation as part of their strategy. Across the world, neither scientific community nor any international science journal stood in support of such claim. Generic engineering is yet to attain the competency required to identify the locus in the RNA sequence of a virus like corona consisting of more than 26000 nucleotides and to bring about change in the nucleotide of so identified locus in view to making it enable in the synthesis of an unknown antigen towards a desired objective. The question of negligence on the part of China to disseminate the information in time for immediate global awareness is also nothing but prevarication. Events of only six days to be picked up from the timeline of WHO’s response to Covid-19 are carrying logic enough to substantiate the charge of negligence as untrue and ill-motivated.
1) On 31 Dec. 2019 Wuhan municipal health commision uploaded some cases of viral pneumonia on its website and WHO’s country office picked it up.
2) On 3 January 2020 China officially informed WHO of a cluster of cases of viral pneumonia of unknown cause identified in Wuhan.
3) On 5 January 2020 WHO shared detailed information about the viral pneumonia of unknown cause through the international health Emergency (2005) Event information System which is accessible to all member states.
4) On 9 January 2020 WHO reported that China determined the outbreak is caused by a type of novel corona virus.
5) On 11 January 2020 WHO received the genetic sequence of the corona virus from China and tweeted it.
6) On 30 January 2020 the Director General of WHO convened the international Health Regulation (2005) Emergency Committee where he declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Rather, after the declaration of Public Health Emergency of International concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 every state should have taken adequate measures to impose compulsory quarantine with proper medical check-up for every entry into the state near the point of entry with immediate effect. the states which could have taken these measures effectively in time have responded to covid-19 with minimum loss of economy and life. But a good number of countries are not in this line and India is one of them.
Incidentally, first covid-19 case in connection with a student returned from Wuhan appeared in Kerala on 30 January and within next two days the number increased to three and there were 1924 and 75 persons under house and hospital surveillance respectively. Under this situation, state govt. of Kerala declared a health emergency in state wide G.O.(Ms)No.3/2020/DMD dated 04.02.2020. This timely and serious effort of Kerala was to have been an advisory to the union govt. of India led by BJP and its allies to be proactive in the implementation of PHEIC with immediate effect. To the contrary, it could not be envisaged from their indifference and silence that very soon the pandemic would devour the entire country. Afterwards, the Prime minister, Narendra Modi, suddenly declared lockdown for a period of 21 days with effect from 24 march 2020 including a trial in the name of janata curfew on 22 march 2020 and further it was extended up to 31 may. But within this period of 54 days from the date of PHEIC declaration, a large number of people being potential carriers of corona-2 virus were allowed to enter into the country. there was hardly any effort to identify the carrier.
In the beginning of lockdown on 24 March, covid-19 caes of the day was 51 and it was 8380 on 31 may and now it has extended 70000. Since inception, rapidly elevating graph of covid-19 cases has not yet left a little respite for the line to be flat anywhere. Now the situation has gone beyond all sorts of control and covid-19 happens to break out across the country in its own motion. It is fact that in pursuance of covid-19, a severe fearful atmosphere, overwhelming the people as a whole is a ridiculous contribution of media, specially electronic media meticulously cultivated the fearful atmosphere. In reality, its rate of mortality is too poor to depict it even as a fatal disease. In respect to declared cases of covid-19, global present rate of mortality is only 4 percent which is also varying from country to country. In India it is only 2.3 percent at present. Moreover, in pursuance of survey on persons died of covid-19, it has been observed that co-morbidity like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma and hypertension etc. are involved with most of the deaths.
Now what are the problems with covid-19 ? Basic problems are only premature death and rapid loss of livelihood. Whoever may die of covid-19, it is obviously a premature death because the person would have not died if the outbreak did not occur. Despite very poor mortality rate, the numbers of premature deaths are increasing day by day because of high rated infectivity.
Continuous lockdown in the first phase and partial lockdown in the second phase along with withdrawal of major transport communication restrained people from movements as a consequence of which economic, commercial and productive activities relating to the interest of common people’s livelihood are in the way of gradual declinations across the country.
When this pandemic will end is uncertain. So far our previous experience is concerned in this regard, pandemic, generally, loses its high rated infectivity on getting the endemic status with the development of herd immunity and gradual reduction of virulence of the virus concerned. The time required to reach this situation is not some days or months, rather years if an effective vaccine does not come in the market with easy availability very soon. As to vaccine, its invention, human trials in three phases and, above all, to be sure of its effectiveness is all time consuming task. If the required time is supposed to be minimum, at least one and half year will be needed to complete the entire process. So a long race of premature death and loss of livelihood to the greater part of our population are likely to take our country toward a famine in the days coming ahead. Obviously, if compulsory quarantine and necessary testing would have been arranged for everybody coming into India from abroad in the respective entry point immediately after 30 January 2020, this appalling situation could have not arisen even. So why did govt. of India fail to take this step ? Is it due to negligence or ignorance on the part of govt. of India ?
Union cabinet Secretary, Mr. Rajib Gauba initiated his first correspondence with the chief secretaries of States and UTs of India on 27 March 2020 about the problem with the persons coming in India from abroad. Mr. Gauba stated in his letter that more than 15 lakh international passengers came in India from 8 january to 23 March and there appeared to be a gap in between the international passengers who needed to be monitored by the states/UTs and actual number of passengers being monitored. He also laid strong importance for all international passengers to be put under close surveillance to contain the pandemic. Union govt. of India is likely to uphold this correspondence proves that, because of proper action to have not been taken in time on the part of union govt. of India, huge load of SARS-COV-2 intruded into India being carried away by the incoming passenger. Apparently, this failure, as a whole, may seem to be an act of negligence or rooted in ignorance, but some contemporary socio-political events and the way to reciprocate on the part of administration tell us otherwise.
- a) The enforcement of unprecedented administrative lockdown in jammu & Kashmir followed by the abrogation of section 370 and 35(A) of Indian constitution on 5 August 2019 procreated a severe political crisis. If the lockdown was withdrawn, Kashmiri people would come out in the road to challenge the administration; Kashmiri people would come out on the road to challenge the administration; and if the lockdown was allowed to continue, atrocious autocratic character of BJP led govt. would be on speedy exposure. In this crucial state, lockdown to be sourced in covid-19 is a very palliative arrangement to be availed of.
- b) Since December 2019, almost all the major cities as well as state capitals began to be in possession of protests against NRC, NPR and CAA. Continuous squatting in Sahinbagh of Delhi and Park Circus of Kolkata rendered the protest an institutional shape which became very hard to be digested by the govt. of India.
- c) Intelligentsia of various disciplines and students community of the country have been raising their voice against various Hindutva agenda and related activities of RSS and BJP led govt. of India for long. Kashmir-imbroglio and CAA infuriated the voice to a greater extent.
- d) ‘Namaste Trump’ programme having an enormous political significance to BJP and RSS was scheduled to be held on 24-25 February 2020. If the incoming passengers from abroad would have to be treated as proposed, the programme might have no opportuinity to be in effect.
- e) During last seven years of Modi-regime all the socio-economic parameters considered to be the determining factors of the state of livelihood of countrymen are in a gradual state of deterioration and with the beginning of running financial year (2020-2021) its exposure is too fast to be obfuscated by any political manoeuvring.
In the management of these events, Modi led govt. took advantage of covid-19 meticulously. If quarantine and subsequent testing were made a binding principle for everyone coming into India from abroad immediately after PHEIC declaration, SARS-COV-2 virus could not manage its entry into India. Govt. of India did not bent on this option because it needed a protracted lockdown to manage the events and accordingly, more than 15 lakh persons were allowed to come into India from abroad to build up a ground situation for lockdown to be enforced. Needles to say, administration availed of lockdown to manage the vents in its favour, having taken stringent measures.
Innumerable activists belonging to the sphere of student community, intelligentsia, human and democratic rights and trade unions have been arrested on sedition charges.
pro-corporate economic programmes of Rs. 20 lakh crore have been announced with an amount of Rs.60,608 crore bank loan of top 50 defaulters to have been written off.
New education policy under the command of Hindutva has been introduced and new environment impact assessment rules to be more effective in looting the water, land and forest resources by the corporate gaints has been drafted and likely to be promulgated very soon.
A major privatization programme of India Railways has been declared and the process has already been started.
A lot of programmes are now in pipelines to transform secular and sovereign India into a country to be led by a nexus of Hindu fanatics and corporate hegemony. the elevation of Hindu fanatism from soft Hinduism is a long term planning of RSS and as an important part of it, RSS was (is) keen to use Muslim-hatred to incite greater part of India people towards Hindu fanatism since long. It is to note that RSS and its political servants tried their best to fecundate covid-19 issue for the cultivation of Muslim-hatred. Under this imperative in simultaneous with the stringent measures, the administration, to waive itself of the charge of failure to contain covid-19 infections, was in need of a scape-goat and accordingly, accused the Muslim personalities coming from abroad to join the Tablighi congregration in Delhi as super-spreader of covid-19. It is very sarcastic to note that out of 15 lakh incoming persons from abroad, 193 foreigners with Muslim identity against whom FIR was lodged with were only found as being potential carrier of SARS-COV-2.
Now conclusively, it is clear that, despite natural appearance of SARS-COV-2, its infectivity can easily be thwarted from being spreaded across the country, but Hindutva imperative of RSS pushed the union govt. of India to walk in the wrong path to serve its narrow and heinous interest, causing a huge number of premature death and rapid loss of livelihood to the toiling mass of the country. the number of premature deaths already crossed 60000 in the last seven months, more to see in the months coming ahead. Who will compensate this undesired loss ?
(The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy and position of peoplesmagazine.in)