With a steady increase in the daily fresh coronavirus cases since the third week of February, with over 89,000 cases reported on April 2, the nation is heading for another period of trouble time. The rapidly rising coronavirus numbers in the last month has brought back the spectre of a lockdown. Limited lockdowns have already been imposed in some cities, and the threat of a more stringent lockdown looms large over a state like Maharashtra which is the worst-affected. To assess the current situation, the Centre has asked the worst hit states to practice utmost caution and have strict protocols in place to contain the spread of the virus. It also recently, through a letter from the Ministry of Broadcasting, asked the media establishments to stress on the need of following strict Covid protocols so that the second wave is contained. Additionally, the government has also asked its employees aged over 45 to get themselves vaccinated to “effectively contain the spread of Covid-19”.
Interestingly, the very leader including Narendra Modi and his trusted accomplice Amit Shah are also seen holding massive political rallies in poll bound states. It is in such rallies that the government thinks – the virus cannot spread even without no social distancing or face masks whatsoever! Well, nothing much can be expected from a leader who had asked the people to bang plates in support of the Covid warriors which went quite awry back in 2020. Now it is asking people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour even after vaccination while simultaneously throwing the same advice in the drain during election rallies. Though the government is not coming up with the ‘bang thali’ idea again in 2021, it is not coming up with any idea at all to contain the virus. The vaccination drive is still going at a snail’s pace, while the most reckless and vulnerable section of citizens (18-45 years of age) who are also the most active working class, are yet to get their jabs as the government is still stuck with over 45 vaccination drives.
At a time when India is itself engulfed by the 2nd wave of this deadly virus, the government is still busy exporting and giving vaccines to other nations. Whereas it could use that to speed up the vaccination drive here in the country and once the 2nd wave is controlled can resume back with its exports. But the government is rigid and must already have a plan to tackle this situation. Or else, the open gathering of people in lakhs and thousands for election rallies may only be called ignorance or stupidity. On one hand there is the vaccination drive which claims that 8 crore people have been vaccinated in India so far, on the other there is the virus that has already infected 25 crore citizens in the nation till date. It is high time that the government, officials and leaders sat together and thought of a plan ahead, to contain the virus. Serious steps are of utmost importance now or else the matter may soon be uncontrollable.