Was PM Modi Ignorant of the Ground Realities in his Address to the Nation on Tuesday?

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, said that the c

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, said that the country is constantly working to ramp up the number of beds in hospitals. He claimed that special and large COVID hospitals are now being built in the country. However, the ground reports point towards the opposite direction. Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in Delhi had to accommodate 2 patients on each bed amid the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. In spite of being one of the largest COVID-19 facilities in India with over 1,500 beds, the hospital struggles to serve its patients. The hospital reported that the youngest patient, brought to their COVID ward, was a newborn baby. The life of that infant was at stake inside the ward, where social distancing could not be expected. Thus, the question that arises is whether the Government had worked hard enough to learn from the first wave of the infection in India and increased the number of beds to the required level. Unfortunately, the answer seems to be negative.

Medical Oxygen has become a primary necessity in Hospitals, having COVID wards. Despite Government's claims of ramping up oxygen supplies, and PM Modi's address, which tries to highlight that the Governments, both at National and State level, are ensuring that Oxygen reaches to the patients, there are reports from across the Nation that narrates stories of people, losing their breath, following intense cries for Oxygen Cylinders. "The healthcare system will collapse if the supply (of Oxygen) is not increased in the coming days", said a senior Doctor of Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi. The Chief Minister of the National Capital, Arvind Kejriwal stated in an address to the public, that the hospitals in Delhi are running out of Oxygen. Five patients died at a private hospital at Navsari in Gujarat; shortage of oxygen has been reported to be the reason. The Superintendent of a COVID-19 hospital in Bihar wrote to the Government to let him retire from his post as the shortage of oxygen supply in the hospital had put dozens of lives in danger. Vinod Kumar Singh, the doctor, wrote, "Despite multiple reminders, the hospital is not being provided adequate Oxygen supply, which has put the lives of dozens of patients in danger." Singh was afraid that the death of the patients would hold him as the person to be blamed, and thus he wanted to resign from his post. Delhi's Health Minister, Satyendra Jain appealed to Piyush Goyal for help via a tweet, where he mentioned that over 500 COVID-19 patients were on Oxygen support at GTB Hospital in Delhi, and the Oxygen might not last beyond the next 4 hours. These are few instances among many reported and unreported anecdotes of grief, terror and lapses.

PM Modi stated that he had a conversation with the senior officials of Pharma Sector of the country and ensured that the sector is taking help of Pharma Companies to increase production. He expressed his pride for the Pharma Sector of the country, but the Prime Minister had nowhere mentioned about the shortage of Remdesivir, being faced in the country. YCM Hospital in Pune was compelled to skip the 4th and 5th doses of Remdesivir to the critical patients of COVID-19, who were on Oxygen support. Shaikh Waheed, who had been in search of Remdesivir injections for 3 days, could finally manage a box containing six vials of the drug and could not help but held the box tight in his arms. "I managed to get only 6 vials of Remdesivir for Rs. 20,400 and I need 18 more. How will I arrange them in a short period of time? I shall give this to my sister for now, who is critical'', said Waheed. Three members of Waheed's family are battling out hard against the virus in a hospital, while Waheed and his wife are wandering in search of Remdesivir injections. The Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren, had to contact the pharmaceutical companies of Bangladesh to import 50,000 vials of Remdesivir. He wrote to the Central Government seeking permission. "Since we could not get Remdesivir as per our requirements from the Indian manufacturers, we started exploring the International markets for procuring the drug", stated CM Soren in his letter to Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers. Research revealed innumerable incidents of shortage of Remdesivir, but the Prime Minister of the Nation was satisfied with the country's production.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ignorant of the datas and statistics, that recorded more than 2 lakh COVID-19 positive cases everyday during the last few days in the country. Nowhere in his speech, he had mentioned the numbers that point towards the horrible COVID situation, that India has found itself in. India is the second most affected country after the United States and the Prime Minister seems to be confident about the country's medical infrastructure as he states, "Contrary to the previous year, we now have expertise against the disease. The country has made development in its medical infrastructure to deal with the pandemic."

Views are personal.

Swagatam Roy

Swagatam Roy

Swagatam Roy is working as a Senior Content Writer with The News Core. He had earlier been the Managing Editor at Cachar Chronicles. Currently, Roy is studying at Amity University as a student of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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