India Fighting Two Adversaries: COVID and Indian State

139 crore Indians are fighting not only COVID but also with the poor healthcare infrastructure of the country.

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Amid the horrific second wave of the pandemic, Indians are not only fighting COVID but also the inefficiency of the Indian state.

A country of 139 crore people doesn’t have an efficient healthcare system to manage 20 lakh active cases. There is a dearth of oxygen supply, medicines, ventilators, and hospital beds.

Who should be held responsible for the crisis? Didn't we declare victory over coronavirus too early? This is no time for blame-game because lives are at stake. Everyone should come together to save lives.

In such a crucial time, when it is imperative to break the chain of the virus, a critical judgment on lockdown has been postponed by the Supreme Court. Won’t these delayed processes prove fatal in such times?

The Indian state, which includes the government and its arms like the legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy, media, and other public institutions, have collectively failed to be better prepared against this surge. Even when they had one year in hand.

After the current mismanagement in dealing with the virus, the government is focusing on headline management by opening up imports.

Mutation of the virus was initially underplayed and now we are facing this horrendous crisis. On 22 April, India saw 3,14,835 new cases and 2,104 deaths. Highest since the pandemic began. There are 22,91,428 active cases, while 1,84,657 people have lost their lives.

Even in such a grim situation, politics continue to dominate the country. There are politicians who are distributing Remdesivir from party office and election rallies go as usual. Politicians are not fined when they openly defy COVID norms but the general public is always under scrutiny.

There is clear discrimination in enforcing COVID regulations. Tragic scenes of migrant labourers’ exodus from last year is being repeated this year as well. The government is still hesitant about spending on healthcare. When will we spend on healthcare, if not at such a time?

Promises of COVID hospitals made last year are nowhere to be seen. In Uttar Pradesh, we saw how the determination of a patient’s severity was being done by a Chief Medical Officer instead of a doctor. The failing state of the Indian state is also in need of a ‘vaccine’.

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