CME INDIA Presentation by Dr. S. K. Gupta, MD (Med), FICP, CFM(France) Clinical Asst. Professor GS Medical College, CCSU, Uttar Pradesh India. Visiting Consultant, Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi.

The Truth Behind the Maligning Image of India

Hit and run tactics of virus baffled the whole world but Indian policymakers have been blamed in out of proportion in western world barring the fact that no one expected the “ferocity” of the second wave. Now it is said that third wave is inevitable with more immune evasion and transmissibility. No time line can be given scientifically. Now evidence is growing that new variants are a contributing factor. In spite of Three prongs strategy proposed (1. Seroprevalence surveys to determine the population’s true immunity 2. Genome sequencing to detect mutant viruses quickly and 3. An accelerated vaccination program) to give the virus less room to mutate in a way that makes it vaccine-resistant), no one knows how third wave will behave.

Time is to ponder the response of Anti-Indian propaganda, which the world witnessed. Dr S K Gupta tries to analyse. We may have to keep piecing bits of evidence together as weeks and months and years move forward.

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities

The bad air pant up

  • Second wave gave the world media an opportunity to release the bad air pant up in their tummy by the indigestion caused by the better performance of India during the First wave.
  • Tom Dick or Horton did not wantel to lose this moment of sadistic pleasure without sarcastic comments. (Richard Horton is Editor of Lancet known for his anti-India mindset)
  • Many of the Non-Indian Residents! ohh! no, no, Non-Residents Indians (NRIs) also found in it – the right time to justify their decision to run away from their mother land and to vocalise loyalty to the other land. Some remained Anjan and others remained in Moorccha of what happened in and around them 2 months back.
  • Let us compare the challenges thrown over by spreading Virus and the Govt/Citizens response to have a right perspective of situation:

1. Fig.1 Daily New cases please refer to figure 1 before you read it

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities
  • When one carefully sees this graph one can easily see that the case load which India had to handle was the Highest in the world – that too in the shortest span of time. Number of new cases per day during the second wave in India – 4 lacs – were much more than that of USA ~2.5 lakh.
  • Second, all these cases came up over a shorter span of time increasing the demand of health infra, leading to shortage of Oxygen and Beds – just overwhelming the System. It was *no less than a Cloud Burst while for US it was like heavy rain fall over a longer period.
  • And for UK and Brazil, can it be termed as just downpour?

2. Fig.2 please refer to figure 2 as you read below. High Transmission of Virus.

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities
  • Figure shows the very High Positivity Rate Trends leading to fast and steep peaks suggesting very quick spread of disease by a mutated virus having high transmission capability… giving very little time to react.
  • Lower Half of chart shows that virus load was higher in patients suggesting fast replication of virus and these factors were beyond human control.

3. Fig.3 please refer to figure 3 as you read this.

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities
  • Severity and lethality of Delta Variant that India had to sustain was much higher.
  • Severity of disease leading to deluge of cases was bound to cause shortage of newer drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab. But lifesaving drugs like steroids never went into short supply due to the Indian pharma Industry.
  • Unfortunate part was supply chain issues of Oxygen for which India remains indebted to all deceased. Be it for whatever reasons, this remains an unforgivable Sin for which apologise with folded hands and tears in our eyes.
  • All unfortunate dead bodies were consigned to flames with intense grief but with dignity and full religious ethos. Unlike New York no Dead had to wait for days together in refrigerators for the last rituals.
  • World media fails to react to the reality in the US where Covid casualties were buried in mass graves employing *mechanical means and without permitting the next of kin to pay their last respects or be present.
  • In Italy, the situation was so depressing that the army was called in to take over casualties and hurriedly cremate them away from cities.

4. Fig. 4 please refer to figure 4 as you read below

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities
  • Despite all shortcomings India has been able to maintain the lowest Mortality among most affected countries
  • The fact that India being the world’s second most populated nation was bound to have higher casualties is being ignored. Casualties have been higher in percentages in countries possessing smaller populations, in numbers and/or density, than India, including US, European nations, Brazil etc

5. Govt response: Fig.5 number of tests

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities
  • We conducted highest number of single day tests during the Pandemic, far more than any country in the world.
  • Govt gave free food to as many as 800 million people and put money into bank accounts of 400 million. It might be easier to understand if we say India was providing food stocks to two and a half times the US population and funding more than its population. How many nations were able to sustain such expenditure through these trying times and receding economies?
  • India not only developed an indigenous vaccine but also reached out and supported weaker nations. India has supplied 66.3698 million doses to various countries as grant through Covax and on commercial basis as on 29th May 2021 while injecting about 207 million doses to its citizens till that day.  Indian vaccine diplomacy earned its global praise, while the West was branded selfish. *As on 9th June 2021 more than 240 Million doses have been administered to its citizens.
  • One should not forget that Western nations selfishly ignored third world countries and saved all vaccines and medical equipment which they could garner for their own populace, storing far more than necessary. Despite that India is going to emerge as a strong nation and current short fall of vaccines will be overcome in the coming six months.

6. Fig.6…

Second Covid Wave: Trespassing the Thin Boundary Between Criticism and Realities
  • Victory against Covid may not be looked through lens of number of casualties (dead or infected), but by protecting the majority of the population, as also catering for their essential needs during periods of enforced lockdowns. Success should be mapped by criteria of reversing the Covid cycle with minimum inconvenience and suffering to the populace.

7. Can’t India commit errors?

  • There is no doubt the current government erred when it went ahead with elections, religious events and protests, by virtue of it’s democratic ethos but such action might have in far of places like Kerala and Maharashtra.
  • But why was Govt of India singled out globally? There could be multiple reasons, including internal political oneupmanship and anti-government groups grabbing an opportunity in form of Kisan protests.

8. What Irks the Western Media?

  • India, till recently considered a third world country, is a rising economic power where Western leaders rush to sign trade deals. This reversal in fortunes has hurt many influential organizations.
  • It is the  jealousy of the Western world in witnessing an Asian nation becoming a global economic giant, overtaking most of their economies as also successfully countering the first wave.
  • India is no longer a nation which could neither be dictated nor ignored, and this irks so-called global watchdogs and influencers. Politics, within India, aided by some media personalities, also plays a role in globally maligning the country.
  • India’s global power has risen in recent years. It is immune to global commentators, who felt they could compel third world countries to behave as per their whims and fancies.
  • India’s refusal to change decisions, whether on Kashmir or the Citizenship Amendment Act, despite criticism from so-called global watchdogs or senators or members of parliament of the Western world hurt privately funded influential organizations, many of whom control media houses. These were at the forefront in tarnishing the national image – Trespassing the thin boundary between criticism of the Govt and opposition of the Nation.
  • Opposition political parties in India exploited the pandemic to hit out at the government have harmed national image. Claims of false reporting gained prominence. Thin line between the opposition of Govt and Nation should have been respected. Governments are temporary and can change depending on the will of the people in future elections, while the nation is permanent.

Final Points

  • Damage has been done and it will take time is changing the adverse image of the nation.
  • However, in the long term, India will win the battle against the pandemic and will rise again. In the meantime, will continue supporting the globe in the fight against the pandemic.

CME INDIA Tail Piece

(Dr Rahul Naithani, Senior Hemato-oncologist, Max Hospital, Delhi)

  • I sincerely believe that India did much better than so called advanced countries.
  • Very fact that international media, Lancet-Chinese Editor, Indian agenda laden media and of course our regressive opposition parties shouted against any positive development assures me that we are on right track.
  • People are deliberately ignoring the denominator of 140 crores population and active anti-India forces via media, rumours and courts
  • For those asking for vaccination for all on short time period – I Can assure by the time you finish counting till 140 crores, we would have moved far ahead

Now, what do you think? Share your views in comment section…

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