Top Virologist Shahid Jameel Resigns From Covid Panel After Criticising Government
New Delhi: Senior virologist Shahid Jameel has quit from a government-established forum of scientific advisers to detect variants of the COVID-19.
“It’s correct and I shall have nothing more to say,” Jameel was quoted as saying by NDTV on Sunday, days after raising questions about the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am not obliged to give a reason,” he said via a text message to news agency Reuters, adding that he relinquished his position on Friday.
Dr Jameel had recently written a piece in The New York Times in which he had written that scientists in India are up against “stubborn response to evidence-based policy making.”
The virologist pointed out the issues with India’s COVID-19 management, especially the lower testing, slow pace of vaccination, vaccine shortage and the need for a bigger healthcare workforce, reported NDTV.
“All of these measures have wide support among my fellow scientists in India. But they are facing stubborn resistance to evidence-based policymaking,” he wrote in the piece.
Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology that oversees INSACOG, Renu Swarup did not immediately respond.
“On April 30, over 800 Indian scientists appealed to the prime minister, demanding access to the data that could help them further study, predict and curb this virus,” he wrote noting the gaps in the country’s data-gathering.
“Decision-making based on data is yet another casualty, as the pandemic in India has spun out of control. The human cost we are enduring will leave a permanent scar,” he wrote.