Politics

PM Modi’s actions inexcusable, govt needs ‘owning up to its mistakes’: Lancet report on India’s Covid response – Times Now

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi& 

New Delhi: The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “squandered” its early successes in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and could be in charge of “a self-inflicted national catastrophe”, as per a Saturday editorial in the international medical journal The Lancet. The publication said India controlling the crisis will depend on PM Modi’s government “owning up to its mistakes”.

“[PM] Modi’s actions in attempting to stifle criticism and open discussion during the crisis are inexcusable,” the report stated.

“India squandered its early successes in controlling COVID-19. Until April, the government’s COVID-19 taskforce had not met in months. The consequences of that decision are clear before us, and India must now restructure its response while the crisis rages,” it added.

“The success of that effort will depend on the government owning up to its mistakes, providing responsible leadership and transparency, and implementing a public health response that has science at its heart.” 

The report further stated that the government in India allowed religious festivals as well as political rallies to go on during the pandemic despite warnings that the events could be coronavirus super-spreader.

“Before the second wave of cases of COVID-19 began to mount in early March, Indian Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan declared that India was in the “endgame” of the epidemic,” the Lancet report said.

“Despite warnings about the risks of super-spreader events, the government allowed religious festivals to go ahead, drawing millions of people from around the country, along with huge political rallies-conspicuous for their lack of COVID-19 mitigation measures,” Lancet said.

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Condemning the attempts of shunting down criticism on social media platforms, the report suggested that the Modi government appeared more intent on removing criticism on Twitter.

“At times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has seemed more intent on removing criticism on Twitter than trying to control the pandemic,” Lancet said.

“The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that India will see a staggering 1 million deaths from COVID-19 by Aug 1. If that outcome were to happen, Modi’s government would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe,” it added.

‘Covid-19 a new entity, infects upper, lower respiratory tracts’

Meanwhile, according to the review, there is also growing evidence that the virus infects both the upper and lower respiratory tracts.

“The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus two (SARS-CoV-2), which causes Covid-19, has resulted in a health crisis not witnessed since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Tragically, millions around the world have died already,” Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Clinical Professor in Trinity College Dublin said.

“Based on growing evidence we propose that Covid-19 should be perceived as a new entity with a previously unknown infectious profile. It has its own characteristics and distinct pathophysiology and we need to be aware of this when treating people,” Martin-Loeches added.

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