The Narendra Modi-led central government on Saturday came under sharp attack from the medical journal Lancet, which blamed the government for precipitating the health crisis caused by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The medical journal ‘The Lancet’ severely criticized the Narendra Modi government for its handling of the Covid-19 crisis in India, saying that it has given the impression of being more occupied with ‘removing criticism on Twitter than trying to Control the pandemic’.
Estimating that India may witness 1 million deaths from Covid-19 by August 1, Lancet slammed the Narendra Modi government for ‘presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe’.
Pointing out the Government’s Covid task force had not met in months, Lancet urged the government to ‘own up to its mistakes, provide responsible leadership and transparency and implement a public health response that has science at its heart.’
The editorial says that the top government officials prematurely declared victory over the pandemic highlighting health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s comment that India is in the endgame, leading to complacency and insufficient preparation.
While pointing out the shortcoming of the government response, the Lancet also suggests a strategy to control the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The impression from the government was that India had beaten COVID-19 after several months of low case counts, despite repeated warnings of the dangers of a second wave and the emergence of new strains. Modeling suggested falsely that India had reached herd immunity, encouraging complacency and insufficient preparation, but a serosurvey by the Indian Council of Medical Research in January suggested that only 21% of the population had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2,” the editorial says.
After listing the Modi government’s mishandling, Lancet had also advised the Centre to increase vaccine supply and set up a distribution campaign that will cover more than 65% of the population.
The journal also told that government must provide accurate data in front of the public regularly and give an honest explanation of what is happening including a National Lockdown.
On Saturday India registered a record spike in deaths due to the Covid-19 infection, pushing the death toll due to the virus over 2.3 lakh. India has recorded 4,187 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.