Pointless political slugfest amid a fierce Covid storm

| SEPTEMBER 13, 2020, 06:59 PM IST

To assume the Covid storm has blown over would be the silliest of thoughts at this juncture. It sounds preposterous when it comes from Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, who in the same breath, claims the daily spike could touch 1,000 due to community transmission. A bitter political slugfest is playing in the background, at a time when Covid is striking big, and it appears a few feathers are ruffled with the ongoing oximeter campaign of Aam Aadmi Party.

Goa, like the rest of India, is in the midst of an intense struggle to contain the virus. The storm is very much here, and it is only intensifying. The only good news, for now, is animal trials of Covid vaccine have been successful, and the British clinical trials of AstraZeneca vaccine have resumed. The government's primary responsibility under such situations is to provide optimal healthcare facilities to its people and ensure their welfare. On the other side of the argument, given the scale of this pandemic, the government alone may not be able to accomplish the mammoth job at hand. Failures and Covid mismanagement have happened because of the unprecedented situation. Every State has been caught off guard, with healthcare facilities, medicos and people in general brought to their knees.

Like the rest of India and the world, Goa too has to fight its way through this long drawn battle against Covid. With the country going into unlock mode, people will be exposed to substantial health risks from time to time because the onus has shifted entirely on them. The Saturday health bulletin recorded a highest positive count of 740 people, coupled with ten deaths, and there were another 407 cases in the Sunday's update.

There could be truth in the health minister's assertion that soon we may see higher positive cases. The days of 'bivpachi garaz na' have passed us, but the storm is undoubtedly here, and the common man could be trapped in a helpless situation. Which is why the government and leaders should stop their political games and help people cope up with life. Any efforts to alleviate people's agony and pain cannot be disregarded at this stage, no matter from which political party or organization it comes from. Whoever chooses to do a service must be given an opportunity.

The Health Minister has laid to rest speculations on plans to set up a private medical college at the new South Goa District Hospital. However, an idea of setting up a nursing college defeats the reasoning, more especially when he says fighting Covid is a priority. The premises may not match the infrastructural requirements, but that's not the basis of shutting the two available floors at the new hospital, especially against the backdrop of the grave situation Goa is facing. Wuhan in China, which was the epicentre of the virus has set a benchmark in healthcare by setting up a hospital in ten days. If the Goa government is sincere about fighting Covid, it should leave no stone unturned.

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