Listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the Corona crisis on Monday, if a person from a third country wants to form an opinion about India, then he will understand broadly – that India has done a great job during the crisis, And going ahead, it is going to benefit not only its people but also the world because the vaccine is being made in India for more than half of the world’s population.
Now it is natural that if the head of a country is speaking from any platform, then why will he talk about his shortcomings? And here the Prime Minister was speaking from a platform that was international, so here not only the government but also the prestige of the country was on the Prime Minister’s shoulders.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a conference held under the leadership of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in which several Ministries and Departments of the Government of India, as well as representatives of Canada, USA and UK were participating.
The Prime Minister gave a speech on the first day of the three-day program and claimed that the disease in India could be reduced due to the efforts of the government.
The Prime Minister cited the reason for this, “India was one of the countries that first imposed lockdown. India was among those countries which insisted on the use of masks. India did an effective job in detecting patients whom they met. India Was among the first countries to arrange for a rapid antigen test. “
He also told that before the epidemic, his government had taken many steps to improve the health system in the country, which benefited.
The Prime Minister said, “Take the example of sanitation. Cleanliness improved, the number of toilets increased. Who benefited the most from them? The poor and the underprivileged. And this reduced the disease.”
So how credible is this picture of India presented about the Prime Minister’s Corona crisis?
On March 25, 2020, when the simultaneous lockdown came into force for the first time in all of India, the total number of corona-infected people in the country on that day was 618. On that day, 87 new cases were confirmed.
The number of corona infected patients in India as on 20 October 2020 – 75,97,063 i.e. approximately 76 lakhs. About 47 thousand new cases were registered on this day.
Health sector experts say that there is no doubt that the lockdown helped prevent the epidemic, but the time was not used as it could have been. That is, at that time when the whole country was closed, the preparations that the government could make could not be done and the result of that is that thousands of people are getting infection even today.
Former Health Secretary, Government of India, Keshav Desiraju It says that in the beginning when the number was low, tracking and tracing should have been done correctly at the time, ie those who got infection should have detected their contacts, but this did not happen.
As long as the lockdown was strictly implemented, the situation remained under control, but after six weeks, as soon as it began to be relaxed, the disease spread.
Keshav Desiraju says, “That’s why so many cases are coming up even today, and in such a situation, to say that India has handled very well out of all the countries in the world, it is absolutely stupid, if the Prime Minister believes it Do, but I don’t think so, the numbers are constantly increasing in big cities. “
Located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat Professor Dilip Mavalankar, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health Also believe that the benefit of lockdown must have been done, but more should have been done.
Professor Mavalankar explains that initially the lockdown prevented the spread of the virus and gave the governments time to build Kovid hospitals and because of this people were sick, but the deaths did not happen that much.
Professor Mavalankar said, “About 24 thousand people die every day in India, out of which 1000-1100 people died of Kovid even when the disease reached its peak, that is, four percent people died of Kovid. The situation did not come that 10 percent or 25 percent of the deaths were due to Kovid. “
But they also believe that some things could have been handled better, such as people were troubled by the testing of infection and controlling the facilities of treatment of the infected patient.
He said, “It was not right to control the test, it became like a license raj that only a few pathologists would get a license in every city, and that too was delayed by a month, all pathology centers should allow it Was, in such a situation, those who had money would go anywhere and get the test done. In the same way all private hospitals should have been allowed to be treated, people were sent to government hospitals, which made people nervous. “
How much government attention to health?
Prime Minister Modi also claimed in his speech that India has very good scientists and scientific institutions and because of them, it helped in controlling the disease.
But health sector experts say that the country’s public health system, ie the government health system, is in a bad state and the Corona crisis has weakened it further.
Of Delhi Jawahar Lal Nehru Professor Ramila Bisht in the Department of Social Medicine and Community Health at the University It is said that during the epidemic, only regular doctors or health workers in government hospitals were put in the prevention of corona, which led to other problems.
Professor Ramila Bisht says, “Those who were regular health workers there were put into covid care, which makes it seem that a lot of people are engaged in the prevention of corona. But by removing people in essential services, they are very much It has a serious impact.
“In this country, many people are killed by TB, its treatment has had a serious impact, in the same way the government’s important program for pregnant women, new mothers and children has had a serious impact.”
Experts say that even during the epidemic, the government is not focused on primary health centers and there is no investment in them, the result of which is that all cities are dependent on hospitals for corona tests or treatment.
Former Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju says, “Even in Tamil Nadu, where every Primary Health Center has a doctor, there are not as many facilities as it should be, UP, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand are in a very bad condition.”
Professor Dilip Mavalankar also says that the government’s focus is still not as much on the health sector as it should be.
He says that many posts are still vacant in government hospitals and work is being done in their place by making temporary appointments, due to which the health services are under pressure, the general public is also getting upset.
Professor Mavalankar said, “Not only are the doctors and nurses, we do not have sufficient number of epidemiologists or even compute statisticians so that the data is not clear.”
He says that this is the reason why the number of people who come to know about corona infection is not given in this number that if one lakh people are getting infected, then how many of them went on ventilator, how many went to hospital, and how many people Are getting treatment in homes, and if so many people died, then some died in hospital and some in the house.
He said, “Most of the people get cured in the houses, if its numbers were also told, then perhaps the fear of the people would be less.”
Experts say that the maintenance of the government health system is also important because if the vaccine arrives tomorrow, then it will be a big challenge to reach the entire population.
Keshav Desiraju says, “If you ask the government anything, their answer is, Ayushman Bharat. But that is not the answer to our problems, we need a health care system that is functioning properly.”