Dear Neta, COVID Crisis Is Worse Than 2020, ‘Hypocrisy’ Must End

Leaders continue to hold rallies and roadshows in poll-bound states, while compromising on COVID protocols.

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Snapshot

India is struggling to cope with the COVID-19 surge, cases are spiking at an alarming rate, many cities are reporting a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen supply, Remdesivir, COVID vaccine doses, and healthcare workers. Moreover, there are long queues for COVID tests and test results, and crematoriums are overburdened. But our political leaders continue to hold rallies and roadshows in poll-bound states, while compromising on COVID protocols. It’s time the double standard ends.

The country's daily caseload is reaching new highs each day. As of 17 April 2021, India recorded 2.34 lakh new cases and 1,341 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. There are now 16,79,740 active cases and the numbers are increasing at a rapid rate.

Amid such a COVID surge in the country, politicians continue to flaunt 'no mask' rallies and roadshows, while religious gatherings also seem to be unhindered.

India has surpassed Brazil in the number of active COVID cases. The country now ranks second after the US. India's death toll has reached 1,75,649. The total cases in the country now stands at 1,45,26,609.

Snapshot

Even as the general public have to pay fines and sometimes even suffer lathicharge for not wearing masks, our politicians are holding road shows without wearing masks and are organising crowded rallies that don’t maintain social distancing. The double standards of our netas, who are holding jam-packed rallies during the day and supervising COVID meetings in the evening, have been exposed.

All the states undergoing Assembly elections: Assam, Puducherry, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal have a grim COVID situation.

On 10 March, daily COVID cases in West Bengal were 222. A month later, on 13 April, the same number rose to 4,511. West Bengal's total cases as on 10 March 2021 were 5,77,000, which rose to 6,19,000 by 13 April 2021.

In Tamil Nadu, daily COVID cases on 10 March were 564. This rose to 4,370 by 13 April.

If election rallies weren't enough, there was the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. At least 35 lakh devotees attended the Shahi Snan on 12 April. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat dismissed the COVID concern by saying 'faith in God will defeat the fear in the virus'.

Yet, over 1,000 devotees tested positive in the Kumbh.

Many places are witnessing a shortage of hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen, and medicines. There are delays in COVID tests and tests results. Even crematoriums are overburdened. India's health care system is evidently crumbling.

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