The country is in the throes of the COVID pandemic. The daily number of COVID-positive cases haS crossed three lakhs - the highest daily increase in the world. This is more than than the 3 lakhs reported in the US at the onset of January. However, the warning issued by covid.org, which handles patient data, is more frightening. They have predicted that the coming two weeks are extremely dangerous for the country. One has to wait 15 more days to gauge the impact of the election campaigns and the Kumbh Mela. A red alert has been issued for travel to and from the country. The British and Japanese Prime Ministers have cancelled their India visits due to the same.
The answer in unison to why the second wave of the COVID pandemic hit the country so hard, is the criminal failure by the government. 'The Guardian' notes failure in governance as the prime reasons for the spread of the pandemic. The Delhi High court also had the criticism that the vaccine distribution is totally unscientific, and the lack of a central policy is leading to the wastage of vaccine shots. It was the Bombay High Court that pointed out that the Centre was also responsible for oxygen shortage in Maharashtra, and that they were discriminating against certain states. Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Kolkata, Allahabad high courts have sent a notice to the central government seeking details of the plans for handling the pandemic. Now the Supreme Court has also taken suo motu cognizance of the issues. CJI SA Bobde has asked the Solicitor General to explain the COVID battle plans. They have asked the Centre to submit the details of actions taken so far and what they plan to do in relation to oxygen supply, medicine distributions, the vaccination procedures, and the states' discretion on announcing lockdowns. Senior advocate Harish Salve has been appointed as the Amicus Curiae to observe the fight against the pandemic.
It is indeed shameful that the only party not understanding the depth of the health emergency in the country and working accordingly is the Central government. However, more than shameful, it is protestable. In the last two weeks, the PM took part in nine grand rallies which brought in thousands. "in all directions I see huge crowds of people... have witnessed such a rally for the first time." he proudly proclaimed while attending a political rally in Asansol, Bengal. As for the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, he led the massive campaign saying "Watch this, everyone". The Home Minister has been seen taking part in roadshows without even wearing masks to win the war to capture Bengal. As rulers stage the farceand fight for power in Bengal, a journalist from UP was forced to approach Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for medical oxygen after he was denied admission to hospitals. He succumbed to death of suffocation.
The Prime Minister's address to the nation was that of an army general admitting defeat at the peak of the war. The lapses in vaccinations and the oxygen shortages are squarely the Centre's fault. Even though 162 new oxygen plants were sanctioned in October last year in the wake of the pandemic, only a handful have started operations. Moreover, companies were given the opportunity to export oxygen for profit. India has exported 9,000 Metric tons of industrial oxygenin this period. Even as people were literally being choked to death, the government was hesitant in ordering limiting production of industrial oxygen to reroute it for medical use. They also announced exorbitant prices for the vaccine which they had claimed to distribute for free. Those in power have given free rein to pharmaceutical companies and private hospitals to reap profits while watching the death match from the galleries. Health experts claim that if the government stops the deceit of under-reporting fatalities, the actual statistics would be shocking. The nation is doomed to watch helplessly as the government which should have been aiding its citizens, becomes a torturer instead.