At a time when the world is experiencing hitherto unknown ‘lock down scenario’ as the disastrous sequel to deadly impact of Coronavirus that has engulfed mankind with morbid death scare, normal activities have come to a grinding halt.

With India recording 2,78,94,800 cases and 3,25,972 deaths on May 30, perpetual fear of contraction of the disease envelope us causing severe mental anguish and psychological stress. For the first time in the history of human civilization, the scientists, researchers, doctors, having been shaken and daunted by the advent of a tiny virus, have given a clarion call for ‘social distancing’ instead of ‘social cohesion’.

In the staggering backdrop of humanity’s lofty achievements of landing on the Moon, of conquering the Himalayas, spectacular sports extravaganza, sky-rocketing progress in science and technology ushering a new era of prosperity and comfort and so on and so forth, it is indeed baffling and unfathomable to find a terrified mankind being cocooned and confined in the four walls of the house like a caged animal in a zoo in its desperate bid to protect itself !!!!!

The ‘Indian hoi polloi’ echoes the apprehension expressed by Anthony Fauci, the Infectious disease expert, USA. He said recently that Covid19 ‘did not develop naturally’. Fauci has advocated investigation into China to ‘unravel the role of virus origin’. Records reveal that a mysterious virus infecting a human being was detected at Wuhan, China, on November 17, 2019.

The monstrous virus had kept spreading menacingly enticing as many as 381 patients in China by December 25. China, for unknown reasons, had kept the sordid news under wrap till December 31. The WHO did not take any proactive step to track down the origin of virus nor did they challenge Chinese government regarding its dubious origin. Even after being informed, the WHO had declared outbreak of Coronavirus as ‘global health emergency‘ as late as on January 30, 2020 when more than 9700 persons were affected in thirty six countries!!

In contrast, first official report on public domain was came on April 17, 2009 about a new type of influenza. It was named as H1N1. On April 29, ‘high alertness’ was sounded by WHO asking the world to take pandemic preparation. That was how deadly H1N1 was controlled speedily and effectively. Same speedy action was taken to contain EBOLA virus in 2014. Such speedy action by previous office bearers magnify the ineffective, inefficient functioning of the incumbent WHO headed by an ex-minister, Ethiopia, who is not a doctor by profession!!!!

Italy was one of the first countries to have been affected by Covid19 following detection of the virus in two Chinese tourists in Rome in January 2020. As per report of Italian national institute of Statistics, 2021, a whopping 100,526 deaths were recorded in 2020, the highest number of deaths since 1945, when Italy was fighting the Second World War. Subsequently, Spain, UK. Brazil , Australia USA, etc. and many more advanced countries were severely affected with countless deaths.

Most astonishingly, the world is abysmally ignorant about the Coronavirus pandemic in China. As against , the global pandemic total climbed to 2,218,332 cases from 185 countries, along with 148,654 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard, China’s total infected cases are shown as 82,692!! And deaths!! A paltry 4,632!!! How, China remains unaffected by the virus is a million dollar question and shrouded in mystery!!

Closer home, heart-rending scenes of pain, anguish, human sufferings were witnessed in various parts of India from the last part of March to middle of May, 2021. India was gasping for breath during this period as thousands of breathless countrymen had died due to shortage of oxygen, shortage ICU, shortage medicines. Assam has lost a huge number of bright professionals residing in New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, etc. due to Covid19 pandemic.

In famous Batra Hospital, New Delhi, twelve patients died on May 1, due to oxygen shortage.

Significantly, the Supreme Court had to intervene and issue instruction to the government to provide life-saving oxygen to the distressed patients amidst political bickering!!

Inevitably, apolitical persons wonder as to why no planning was made to vaccinate India on war footing during December 2020 to March 2021 when Coronavirus cases had subsided considerably.

Moreover, in India’s successful fight against eradicating Small Pox, Pulse polio, etc., the vaccines were provided centrally while implementation done by states. Why there is a change of policy at this critical juncture? ICMR’s continuous change of guidelines in respect of medicine, interval period between two vaccines are confusing.

Irresistible thoughts occur as to why thousands of ‘naked Sadhus’ were allowed to congregate for taking a dip in Ganga during Kumbh Mela in April. The event came in the backdrop of recording its highest single-day spike this year with 1,333 cases on April 14. The congregation, in turn, became the super spreaders of the deadly virus..

The silver-lining amidst gruesome tragedy lies in the fact that our state, Assam, has passed through the turbulent period, so far, due to the Herculean effort of the Assam government spearheaded by the visionary, dynamic Chief Minister.

Due to proper planning and clinical execution, there has been no shortage of ICU beds or oxygen in the state.

Timely action of conducting Covid tests, imposition of lockdown, motivating the entire health machinery to work round the clock, creation of infrastructure expeditiously, regular monitoring of Covid19 scenario are some of the hallmarks that helped Assam creating an image of one of the best governed states, a role model, during Pandemic for other Indian states to follow.

Gautam Ganguly

Ganguly is a retired ACS officer and sports enthusiast. He can be reached at: gautamganguly2012@gmail.com