Results of Recklessness - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Results of Recklessness

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 05, 2022 9:49 pm

Even after battling for nearly two years against the lethal Covid-19 virus, it’s a pity that we have not been able to sufficiently upgrade our healthcare facilities. As per government records, the states have so far managed to spend only 17 per cent of the funds allocated to construct new health facilities across the country. It may be mentioned here that the Centre allocated INR 2.23 Lakh Crore emergency package to the states for improving health facilities. But due to the lackluster attitude of the states, the people are still devoid of proper medical facilities even as India reels against the third wave of the pandemic. There were proposals to build 1000-bed Intensive Care Units (ICU) in several big cities of the country with that fund. As the second wave affected the rural populace too, special emphasis was given towards increasing the number of beds in primary, secondary and community health centres. However, states are nowhere near achieving the targets within the stipulated time. As a result, many third wave victims may not get proper medical treatment when Covid-19 touches its peak, just as in the second wave of the pandemic wherein many deaths occurred due to lack of proper healthcare facilities. In between the second and third wave of the pandemic, we had a chance to plug the loopholes so that the deadly virus would not catch us unprepared. But, exactly the opposite has happened in many states. With Omicron’s high rate of transmissibility, it is expected that more people will be infected during the third wave, in comparison to the second. If apprehensions prove to be true, we will once again see a mad rush to prepare makeshift arrangements to provide medical care to the affected people, despite having enough time and funds to develop permanent medical facilities in the country.

Along with the failures to upgrade medical facilities, the states have also failed in taking effective measures to rein in the spread of the virus. As Omicron was knocking at the door during the recent festive season, the authorities should have been more cautious to prevent gatherings. The picture of Kolkata’s Park Street during the festive season, where thousands of people gathered violating all Covid-19 norms was a recipe for disaster. Both the people and the authorities threw caution to the wind during that period. Such behaviour at a crucial period is simply inexplicable and the result of the rampant violations is in front of all of us. In West Bengal, the daily number of affected people in the third wave has already surpassed the figures of the second wave within just ten days. A huge number of medical and police personnel have also been affected soon after the festive season, bringing both services near collapse. Another religious fair on January 14 and elections of four municipalities on January 22, will definitely worsen the situation in the state. Other metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bangaluru or Delhi are also facing similar situations. It only goes to prove that we are paying the price for our reluctance to learn any lessons from previous waves.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 05, 2022 9:49:51 pm