PM Modi's actions inexcusable: Lancet slams Centre for 'precipitating' Covid-19 crisis
The Narendra Modi government on Saturday came under sharp attack from Lancet medical journal, which blamed the government for precipitating the public health crisis caused by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quoting an estimate made by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the journal in an editorial said India may witness more than one million Covid-19 deaths by August 1 and if that outcome were to happen, the Modi government would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe.
"Modi's actions in attempting to stifle criticism and open discussion during the crisis are inexcusable,' the Lancet said, asserting that the federal government has an essential role in explaining to the public the necessity of masking, social distancing, halting mass gatherings, voluntary quarantine, and testing.
The sharp criticism of the Modi government by the Lancet comes on a day India's active caseload crossed the 37 lakh-mark, of which more than four lakh new cases were added in the last 24 hours. In the same period, 4,187 new deaths were recorded setting up a grim record.
Despite warnings about the risks of superspreader events, the government allowed religious festivals to go ahead, drawing millions of people from around the country, along with huge political rallies—conspicuous for their lack of Covid-19 mitigation measures, it said.
'The message that Covid-19 was essentially over also slowed the start of India's Covid-19 vaccination campaign, which has vaccinated less than 2% of the population.'
The Indian Medical Association too attacked the government in a sharply worded statement for its failure to handle the crisis. Asking the Union health ministry to wake up from slumber, the IMA said even after 15 days of the crisis, the government was not seen at the forefront to solve such issues resulting in people knocking at the doors of courts to get justice.