In wake of the recent upsurge in COVID across the globe, worst affected is China that is now under complete lockdown after it reported endless deaths. Back home in India too, the situation is under scanner as the Union Health Ministry is keeping a strict vigil on the situation. The Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had chaired a high level health meeting on Wednesday followed by another meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The virtual meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Mandaviya alongwith senior officials including doctors.
The outcome of the meeting, the government said there was nothing to be scared at this moment but stressed on the need to follow COVID protocols. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Assam even Punjab decided to follow COVID protocols. As expected West Bengal showed reluctance in implementing the COVID protocols at this moment.
Trinamool Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee immediately after the meeting chaired by PM Modi, said her state is prepared for the adverse situation but she will not implement the COVID protocol at this hour as she does not feel the need for facemask. It seems Mamata Banerjee has not learn from the past experience. Last year, immediately after the New Year bash at Park Street (regular event) there was an upsurge of COVID. The medical fraternity had literally pleaded Banerjee with folding hands not to relax the protocols but she had turned a deaf ear to the requests of doctors. This year too inspite of the COVID scare, the West Bengal chief minister has announced ther will be New Years bash as usual and the Ganga Sagar Mela (an annual event) will not be carried as per schedule.
On Friday, Mansukh Mandaviya, chaired a virtual meeting with states and announced West Bengal will be a part of the countrywide mock drill on December 27 to ensure the readiness of infrastructure with a specific focus on oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources. State health minister Chandima Bhattacharya informed that the state is prepared for the situation. However, there was a total reluctance on the implementing of COVID protocols. “There will be a countrywide Covid-19 mock drill on December 27. West Bengal will be conducting the drill as well”, informed Bhattacharya. She said the state was continuing with genome sequencing.
West Bengal had ignored the COVID protocols during Durga Puja, Diwali or Kali Puja, Christmas, New Years and Ganga Sagar Mela. The result of this was an upsurge in the COVID cases. The state government speaks of preparations, but the fact is it had under played the numbers of deaths in the previous surges. Not just this, but the death certificates were allegedly doctored as there was an unwritten stricture of putting any reason behind the death but COVID as it would bring the actual number in the glare. I myself met many such poor families who had lost their near and dear ones to the pandemic but did not either get the mortal remains from the hospital which was sent directly to the Dhapa ground for mass cremation or the death certificate carried different reason of death. I saw these people fuming but in tears. Yet, Chadrima Bhattacharya and Banerjee are talking of preparations to face any adverse situation.
Well, in such a situation all we can do is to keep our fingers crossed and pray no fatality are reported,