Editorial

Second wave exposure

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/20/2021 1:04:25 PM IST

 When the first covid wave struck the world, nobody was prepared for it and neither was India. As the death toll from COVID-19 rose to 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24,2020 announced a 21-day lockdown for the entire country, stating that it was the only way to break the chain of infection. The lockdown was further extended periodically from April 14 2020 to May 3 2020 and then from May 17,2020 to May 31,2020. From then on the government began its ‘Unlock’ series from 1.0 from June 1- to 39, then unlock 2.0 from July 1-31 till the final Unlock 7.0 from November 30 to December,2020. Covid cases gradually dipped from October 2020 till and continued and on February and leading the government to claim credit of its covid handling. While it is easy to claim credit it is also easy to blame others. The handling of the covid pandemic since March 2020 became almost a one-man show. If those in the ruling government at the Centre and supporters credited Modi for his handling of the covid pandemic through Lockdown, it is also incumbent that the blame should also be shared. Of course, the total unlock by January 2020 has made people complacent about adhering to the SOPs and has contributed to the recent spike. However, the centre was also lost focus on covid and began tom-tomming about its success. When The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, Al-Jazeera and Fortune began writing articles about how well India had done in bringing infections down, bedazzling experts and defying scientists’ dooms-day predictions, it made the Modi government proud of its achievements. What’s also unfortunate is that the false sense of pride has brought a poor response to this second wave as daily cases constantly breach the two lakh-mark. This was the consequence of the “false confidence” that the government fell into as it went a step further to become the giver of vaccines(exporting some 5.84 crore doses of vaccines) and exporter of 13,796 Metric Tons(MT) of oxygen. Today India has to import vaccines(from Russia) and also around 50,000 MTs of oxygen. If at all, these reveal that there has been a missteps by the union government in remaining focussed on COVID when itself also became complacent . Whether it was complacency or politics that has led to the present crisis; there is no doubt that the decision to hold elections to five state assemblies and allow the religious festival of Kumbh are major factors. Lakhs of people attended the political rallies across the five states and tossing away masks, leave alone maintaining social distancing. Even in Uttar Pradesh, a total of 30,596 new coronavirus cases were recorded on April 18 as the highest single-day spike in the country. Throughout India, hospitals have no more beds and covid patients are sleeping on corridors and outside hospitals. Most hospitals in Delhi have hardly a few days stock of oxygen. Many states are asking for more covid vaccines and oxygen from the Centre. Whichever way one may look at the current scenario, it unmistakably leads to the conclusion that after taking centre-stage in hogging the limelight throughout the pandemic lockdown and then counting the chickens too early, the Centre has to admit that it has been managing the show through its one-upmanship which has brought the situation to brinkmanship. 

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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