S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ
INDIA is on its way to ‘outrun’ the US in becoming the worst COVID-affected country in the world. Where China has been able to contain coronavirus, India has miserably failed in the job because of poor leadership. This is reflected in the phenomenal rise in positive cases and total mishandling of the COVID crisis in the country. We have failed to recognise the fact that a person is vulnerable to COVID infection. If we protect that one person then we could check the spread of the pandemic and thus reduce the load on the healthcare system. This will ultimately arrest the rising COVID fatalities. Everyone should have been mandated to wear not just masks and face shields but also gloves and PPEs. This would have reduced the rate of infections, which is now hovering around one lakh a day. One does not understand why the government has been unable to see the simple rationale behind the push for top-to-down protection of a human body. The same thoughtlessness is shown again while opening up the economy: we are not looking at the safety of our people. But since the West has reopened the economies, we too should lift the restrictions! Ground realties in the West and in India are different; we should take decisions factoring in the situation in the country. If the situation warrants delay in opening up the economy then we should do that; or lift the curbs region-wise or sector-wise, gradually. The logic behind imposing the lockdown was also faulty: India followed western nations to ‘break the chain’ of the virus by imposing the stringent lockdown. We have seen that the lockdown has not worked; everyone has a reason to flout and break the norms either by the maxim ‘might is right’ or by pulling the strings. Resultantly, India has miserably failed to snap the chain of virus, which has merrily ensnared a large number of our people. Looking at the pace of the spread of the coronavirus, it appears that the Modi government has given up the fight against COVID, leaving the people at the mercy of God! It is high time that we woke up smelt the coffee. The government and the people must do everything to check the spread of the virus. Otherwise by January 2021 we will see people dying like flies on Indian streets; we may witness those horrendous scenes brought about by the bubonic plague that spread through Europe in the Middle Ages.