Editorial

Hiding the unhidden

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/19/2020 12:54:05 PM IST

 Despite COVID-19 cases in India increasing everyday by over 10,000 new infections, with single-day spikes even doubling to over 25,00-plus and despite the more than the three-month lockdown, the government still rants about high recovery and low mortality rates to justify its rejection of calls to acknowledge that community transmission has taken place. So far as on July 19,2020 the total number of COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 10,77,618. India is already the third highest country infected by the virus in the world after the USA(3,836,674) and Brazil(2,075,246). The increase in number of COVID-19 cases in India since the March 24,2020 national lockdown has risen by geometric proportions. On March 24 India recorded 1024 COVID-19 cases and by March 31,2020 the figure shot up to 1,82,143. The meteoric rise reinforced strong belief that community transmission has taken place since even studies conducted initially by Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) indicated this. However, ICMR, perhaps mindful of the centre's sensitivity on the issue, backed away from calling the meteoric rise of COVID-19 cases as due to community transmission. By June 30, the number of COVID-19 cases in India continued to soar to 5,66,840 and it continued with the geometric rise with July 16,200 showing the biggest ever single-day spike of over 29,000. By July 19,2020 India finally surpassed the one million figure with 10,77,618 COVID-19 cases. Chairman of IMA Hospital Board of India Dr V K Monga has termed the current COVID-19 scenario of mounting figure as an exponential growth that is bad for the country. Dr.Monga has reiterated that community transmission has already taken place in India and that was why the COVID-19 cases continue to rise alarmingly. Even in April, eminent epidemiologists as well as immunologists both from India and abroad, have said that COVID-19 in India is already into community transmission. A guidance document released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare seems to have given out India's best kept Covid-19 secret - it says that as early as April, community transmission has happened in India. On April 9, the ICMR and Health Ministry researchers - some of them are national task force members for COVID-19 - in a journal paper, provided evidence suggesting the prevalence of community transmission in 36 districts across 15 States. However, the union Health Ministry took a U-turn by maintaining that community transmission has not started yet in India. This claim has been strongly challenged by independent health experts. The country has been under lockdown for more than three months, but clearly, each lockdown has failed in containing the infection. It has been observed that imposing the lockdown is one of the effective measures that can be used by the countries to contain the spread of the pandemic as social distancing activities like lockdown helps to avoid the transmission among people. The government maintains its claim despite the fact that India now has the third highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world after the US and Brazil. Despite mounting evidence of community transmission, why hasn’t the Modi government admitted that community transmission is already taking place? Admission of community transmission is not the end of the world but the beginning of better understanding to re-strategise containment of COVID-19. The virus can be contained only when the government decides to differentiate between the pathological and the political.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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