First up, I am an observer and a keen reader of facts and figures. I do not hold a doctoral degree to detect or advice on any disease or have the caliber to identify a solution to the virus that has gripped our world. All of my commentary in this article and the ones I wrote earlier about COVID19 are my own views and do not reflect that of my family members or that of organizations / companies with whom I am associated.
I wrote my last article about the COVID19 situation in India on 23rd March, two days before a nation-wide lock down was announced. Since March 23rd, the date of my last post, I have constantly seen that points I had raised continue to hold true.
WhatsApp University Covid19 Update
Fake News and Fake Praise continue unabated, along with a large portion of media that sidelines with the ruling party. I feel utterly disgusted when people become so blinded by their love for political leader that they ignore facts. Or chose the facts that are only convenient to them.
In an interview with India Today’s Aaj Tak News channel on 9th of April, Union Minister General VK Singh went on to make a comment on WHO advisory about lockdown. The whole advisory message circulated on WhatsApp turned out to be fake news. (AltNews link). So much that even our Union ministers are getting caught unawares of Fake news.
A video circulated as though people of Brazil and Swiss supporting Indian PM Modi‘s 9mins-9pm lighting homage – turns out to be obviously fake as well.
And even though the best our PM has done publicly is to assign celebratory tasks without serious, meaningful conversations, he is being praised like the hero India always wanted. Credit where it should be due, but do give all credit to the one, people do notice and see.
Religion does play a large role in spread of Covid19 across the world and it has to stop. Be it a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or a Christian congregation. A lot of religious hate mongering is going around WhatsApp that needs to stop. It is not going to help anyone fight Coronavirus.
Untamed Educated Fools & 9 Pm 9 Minutes of Madness
Just take a look at this video! What a mess! What our PM asked for and what people ended up doing. Bursting crackers to burning stuff, eventually lead to a fire in an open dry place too.
People chose to listen to our PM’s ideas in their own ways. I do not think the PM should do that anymore, because it is doing more damage than good. Thankfully, a lot of others are here to make fun of these instances. LOL.
Do I expect more from our PM?
Yes, indeed. In fact, so much more! The world over, leaders of the respective countries are providing vocal updates to their citizens on the health of the economy, how they are fighting the Covid-19 situation and what is their plan going further ahead.
Our PM does not care to do that, leaving his ministers to do the talking. Though, in other cases (where this does not happen, conversely) it would have been great. Not so much when the country is facing a pandemic.
PM Modi needs to speak up, be more transparent and open – provide timely updates. How much fund has been received so far on the PM Cares account, how much of it is utilized and where? Which states have got how much to fight against this deadly virus? He needs to speak up and provide a ray of hope to those migrant workers who are caught in between and unable to afford a meal a day.
How are we doing on the testing?
Pretty bad, still. We are not even testing 0.2 of 1000 people we have. And should have been doing much more testing than what we are doing right now. Also, we have not yet warmed up to the idea of group testing either. In fact, what is so really sad is that you cannot decide to get yourself tested, unless you qualify.
The Covid19 lockdown should have helped to accelerate the testing, however it has been far less than I anticipated. The country is still struggling with lack of safety equipment for front-line workers like Doctors and Nurses, while Donald Trump has arm twisted humanitarian supply for Hydroxychloroquine, the Malaria drug.
Interestingly, on 15th of March, India tested only 191 people where as the same for South Korea and US the number was upwords for 5800+ tests in a day! That is a huge number, and given lower population in South Korea, their pace has been marvelous.
Here is another chart that shows India’s Covid19 tests conducted rate compared to much smaller countries, including Pakistan – and all of them are doing way lot better on per 1000 count.
Are we already on COVID19 Stage 3?
If you have read my past article on if India is prepared enough to fight the Coronavirus, then you would already have read what I think about it. Almost 15 days since my article, the ICMR (premier nodal agency that is helping fight Coronavirus) still maintains that we are not yet in Stage 3 of community transmission. However, this is because we are still not testing enough.
While countries like Germany have started testing for beyond identifying patients cases as well – into the recovered ones and we are yet to scale a huge load up on testing to identify.
It is becoming increasingly clear that community transmission has been happening in India in various areas and has not been reported largely. The Markaz folks who went back to their native states have showcased it already that community transmissions are taking place.
So, what is next?
The government along with states has already decided to extend the Lockdown situation by 14 more days. That means, the lockdown will be continue through 29th April, 2020.
During this period, Govt. still assumes that parts of the country (by districts) that do not have Coronavirus or have full recovered, will be tagged Green. A color that represents everything is good, and citizens in such areas can go about their normal lives.
Then, second color category is Orange. Here, the numbers are pretty less and the government believes will not have much of COVID19 impact. Govt will allow movement with limited restrictions.
And if your area/district is Red, then the lockdown will continue as it is. There is also conversation on adopting the Kerala Model, Rajasthan Model etc.
Till next post then, STAY SAFE. STAY HOME.