COVID Second Wave: Now, Lancet Blasts Modi Govt For Not Paying Heed To Warnings

Leading publications from all over the world have held the Narendra Modi government responsible for the deadly second wave of COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking havoc in India.

Now, The Lancet has blasted the Central government for the current COVID situation in India.

“The impression from the government was that India had beaten COVID-19 after several months of low case counts, despite repeated warnings of the dangers of a second wave and the emergence of new strains. Modelling suggested falsely that India had reached herd immunity, encouraging complacency and insufficient preparation, but a serosurvey by the Indian Council of Medical Research in January suggested that only 21% of the population had antibodies against SARS-CoV,” wrote one of the world’s oldest and best-known medical journal in a hard-hitting editorial.

Also Read: Modi Govt’s Pandemic ‘Failure’: India Looks To ‘Counter’ World Media Narrative

It pointed out that superspreader events like religious festivals (Kumbh Mela) and huge political rallies (assembly elections) were given the go-ahead.

“The scenes of suffering in India are hard to comprehend… hospitals are overwhelmed, and health workers are exhausted and becoming infected. Social media is full of desperate people (doctors and the public) seeking medical oxygen, hospital beds, and other necessities. Yet before the second wave of cases of COVID-19 began to mount in early March, Indian Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan declared that India was in the endgame of the epidemic,” the article stated.

It further mentioned that the central government’s attempt to stifle criticism about its handling of the crisis was “inexcusable”.

India has to change tack and implement a public health response to the raging COVID-19 crisis that has science at its heart, The Lancet has said.
Mounting a scathing attack on the Indian government’s handling of COVID second wave that has assumed monstrous proportions in the country, the journal, in its editorial, said any effort to control the surge in the virus spread would depend “on the government owning up to its mistakes, providing responsible leadership and transparency” as it restructures its response. It also blamed false modelling about India supposedly reaching herd immunity for complacency and inadequate preparations and even a slow start to the vaccination campaign that is now completely botched up.

“At times Prime Minister Modi’s government seemed more intent on removing criticism on Twitter than trying to control the pandemic,” The Lancet wrote as it berated the Centre for allowing super spreader events like religious gatherings and huge political rallies where COVID appropriate behaviour was tossed to the winds.
States like Odisha and Kerala were better prepared and have been able to produce enough medical oxygen that is being exported to other states, the widely respected journal said and suggested India rationalize the vaccination drive while taking the rural population into account and work urgently to arrest the transmission of the virus including mulling steps like a national lockdown.

As per estimates of The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, there will be 1 million deaths in India by August 1. “If that outcome were to happen, Modi’s Government would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe.”

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