This Lockdown is to HIDE the Negligence of the Govt & Not a SOLUTION to contain Covid-19

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This Lockdown is to HIDE the Negligence of the Govt & Not a SOLUTION to contain Covid-19

Mangaluru: The Union government and our Karnataka government took it very easy and light when a forum of scientific advisers set up by the government warned Indian officials beginning of 2021 that a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus will be taking hold in the country. Despite the warning, four of the scientists said the federal government did not seek to impose major restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. Millions of largely unmasked people attended religious festivals and political rallies that were held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition politicians. Tens of thousands of farmers, meanwhile, continued to camp on the edge of New Delhi protesting PM Modi’s agricultural policy changes.

It was highlighted very very clearly that unless drastic measures were taken, it will be too late to prevent mortality, and that is what we are seeing now. The damage is done enormously and people are dying every day. The world’s second-most populous country is now struggling to contain a second wave of infections much more severe than its first last year, which some scientists say is being accelerated by the new variant and another variant first detected in Britain. For most people, the lockdowns and quarantines imposed by the government to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus have been the first time their freedom of movement and daily life has been so severely restricted. The COVID-19 lockdowns have caused significant collateral damage to the global economy, as well as disrupting access to non-COVID-19 related medical care, routine immunisation programmes and family planning.

 BUNDER PORT/DAKKE AREA

Lockdown has devastating economic effects on vulnerable and marginalized populations, and many informal workers on hourly and daily wages saw their income end when the instant lockdown started. Thousands of workers in the informal sector are at risk of falling into poverty, and many migrant workers in Dakshina Kannada have gone back to their hometown fearing that they would face much crisis if they remained here, due to their experiences during last year lockdown. Many were left to suffer by their employers, especially those in the construction of roads and apartments.

The Modi nor the Yediyurappa government took no steps to prevent gatherings that might hasten the spread of the new variant, as new infections quadrupled by April 1 from a month earlier. Modi, some of his top lieutenants, and dozens of other politicians, including opposition figures, held rallies across the country for local elections throughout March and into April. Even in Karnataka, we saw CM Yediyurappa and other Netas rallying with mass gatherings during the election campaign, flouting Covid-19 guidelines. The Union government also allowed the weeks-long Kumbh Mela religious festival, attended by millions of Hindus, to proceed from mid-March. The result was that around 90% of them were tested Covid positive when they returned back. Also, meanwhile, tens of thousands of farmers were allowed to remain camped on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi to protest against new agriculture laws. The result was that India is now seeing the highest Covid-19 cases and also the highest number of deaths.

MIGRANT WORKERS IN GROUPS NEAR URWA STORE

To be sure, some scientists say the surge was much larger than expected and the setback cannot be pinned on political leadership alone, because even people were not serious enough in adhering to Covid guidelines, and we have seen it right here in Dakshina Kannada and Mangaluru. We saw large religious gatherings, huge gatherings at protests, even our popular MP Nalin Kumar Kateel held a BIG Nemotsava Kola in his ancestral home, following which a few politicians and citizens were tested positive, including minister Kota Srinivas Poojary. And soon after this Nemotsava was over, CM declared a curfew. Bah humbug! Photos in this report will speak the truth, how social distance was flouted and how many were not wearing face masks. If our very own MP and Netas could break the rules, what more can we expect. And now when we are facing this crisis none of these politicians are raising their voices, being guilty.

We are facing an acute shortage of vaccines, oxygen, ICU beds, medicines etc, and there are no solutions to rectify them soon. Daily we are seeing a spike in Covid cases in DK, all this could have been provided only if our government and district administration was serious in preventive measures rather than imposing lockdown now. Like there is a saying “No Point in Crying over spilt Milk” meaning to say that feeling sorry over what has happened is of no use- and that is what we are seeing now. Our district administration officials along with DHO, officials from MCC did a nataka for a few days raiding shops and petrol bunks and slapping fines on violators, and after that, no one was seen to check on violators. But they only raided places that were convenient for them like in the Hampankatta or city business areas, they never went to Bunder port/Dakke or Urwa stores where migrant workers assemble in groups, flouting Covid guidelines. Only if our officials were strict and imposed fines on those who were not following the guidelines, we would have not seen so many virus cases at the moment.

Even the Dakshina Kannada unit of CPM along with DYFI had staged a protest urging the authorities to distribute food grains for the needy during the lockdown and to respond to the woes of people in the sealed down areas, in Mnagaluru, Thokkuttu, Gurupura-Kaikmaba, Moodbidiri and Betangady. During the protest, DYFI State President Muneer Katipalla had said, “This lockdown is not a solution to contain Covid-19 virus, because lockdowns in the past have shown no positive results rather than increase the virus cases, and also put people to hardship. The district admin should supply food for the stranded few migrants, destitute and homeless, who are in distress without food”. And we are seeing it right now, where hundreds of homeless are starving near Nehru Maidan, Market area and in other places.

Muneer had also said, “Even with lockdown, Covid infection has spread among the people, so what’s the point in having a lockdown. No country in the world except China could control the spread of Covid through the lockdown. It is sad that the government without consulting experts has forced society for lockdown once again, which is not right. The Covid-19 infected should be treated in government hospitals, and if they are full, then they should be treated at private hospitals, but with reasonable charges, as announced by the government. ASHA and Anganwadi workers should be given safety gears while they are on duty. Health Care should be provided to non-Covid patients as well”.

“We have been notified that private hospitals have been over-charging for Covid infected patients, thereby flouting the price cap announced by the government. The lockdown has affected the common man. Also, the government should supply 10-kg rice per individual for six months and also provide a monthly allowance of Rs 7500 for the needy. People are in distress after the lockdown. Authorities should make arrangements to supply food grains, and other essential items, including medicines. Yet another CPM leader Sunil Kumar Bajal added that in order to hide its failures in tackling the Covid-19 situation, the government has announced the lockdown.

Referring to small, localized lockdowns imposed by authorities to control outbreaks, PM Modi had said, “We have to save the country from lockdowns. I would also request the states to use lockdowns as the last option. We have to try our best to avoid lockdowns and focus on micro-containment zones”. Then why was this lockdown imposed by CM Yediyurappa, which is not doing any good, since people are still seen out on streets and at shops flouting Covid guidelines? And there’s no one from the district admin or MCC to crack down on these violators between 6 am -10 am/noon.

Even during curfew days, we saw religious functions and the district admin nor the police did anything to stop them, instead only filing FIR against the organizers after the function, which is useless since such FIR’s and cases never bring any action. This is nothing but a hand-in-hand deal in allowing religious functions to carry on in spite of the curfew imposed. Oh well, corruption and bribery speak in volumes in such cases, and nothing could be prevented from such acts.

At present we are in a very grave situation, and it looks like People listen to politicians more than scientists. Our Country’s and state’s scientific community is dejected. We could have done better, our science could have been given more significance. What we observed in whatever little way, that should have been used better. But it’s too late now, only God has to save us from this misery and catastrophe and not our PM, or CM or any politicians?

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1 Comment

  1. Yes its well understood that politicians of all parties are lacking education, basic etiquette. The etiquette is embibed from good upbringing. Many in India are less unfortunate. They lack sound upbringing Now please write about bed blocking scam, some medical practitioners scaring public beyond reason. Medical industry is highly commercial, less human. Expose true facts. Dakshina Kannada has well equipped covid response system. There are many rich institutions who are able to pool in to balance government s shortcoming. Lets avoid political blame game

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