Letters to the editor dated April 14, 2020

| Updated on April 14, 2020 Published on April 14, 2020

Healthcare needs

This refers to the editorial ‘Treatment for all’ (April 14). A situation should not arise where non-Covid mortalities and morbidities outnumber the Covid casualties. Earlier it was suggested that elective surgery be deferred, but now with the lockdown extended, even emergency surgery may not be spared. The role of healthcare is indispensable right now, and all private hospitals and clinics rendering primary, secondary and tertiary facilities should be functional and exempted from any type of embargo.

Critically ill patients are more susceptible to the pandemic and need extra care, not abandonment.

Deepak Singhal


Patients’ plight

Apropos ‘Treatment for all’ (April 14). This is a trying time for all medical professionals as they are not only stressed about handling Covid-19 patients but also other patients with critical ailments. Needless to say our doctor-patient/bed-patient ratio is poor. And in such a crisis, our shortcomings are bound to come to light. In today’s address to the nation, the Prime Minister has said that our country has one lakh beds ready to treat COVID patients, which may look good, but has this come at the cost of not treating other patients? The government must engage both with public and private hospitals so that other patients gets equally good treatment.

Bal Govind


Medical infrastructure

The extension of nationwide lockdown till May 3 is a welcome reprieve. The move comes amidst fears of further spread and increasing number of hotspots across various locations. The lockdown extension will now be a testing time for health experts who are otherwise continuously engaged in monitoring Covid-19 cases consistently.

Further, the government should make adequate necessary arrangements for supply of medical equipment, including PPE, medicines, advanced infrastructure etc. The catastrophe is now an opportunity to ramp up healthcare infrastructure. The government should surge ahead in implementing necessary policies to further improve healthcare infrastructure, including procurement of medical devices, review of import/export of life-saving drugs, upgrading of hospitals, improvement of basic infrastructure at primary health care facilities etc.

Varun Dambal


Relief for the impoverished

The extension of the nationwide lockdown for three more weeks was a foregone conclusion. Obviously we could not have done without “Lockdown 2.0” to contain the spread of Covid-19 and save lives. Given the gravity of the existential threat posed by the contagion, there is unanimous support for the extension of the lockdown.

By reiterating the need to maintain social distancing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi counselled the citizenry to behave responsibly. While the battle is to be fought on all fronts, he neglected to mention that we did not pay enough heed to WHO’s “Test, Test, Test” prescription to respond better with accurate data of cases. Modi made the easing of restrictions conditional on the success achieved in “flattening the curves” by April 20. But he should not make it a test of people’s resilience to cope with the economic fallout of the lockdown, like loss of livelihoods and descent into destitution.

The announcement of a ‘special financial package’ was eagerly awaited to allay the fears of the poor that hunger might kill them before the virus does. But we heard little on that front. Modi needs to do more than just acknowledge the hardships people are facing. The handling of the coronavirus by the government is handicapped by its stinginess in supporting the impoverished people to survive the lockdown and the pandemic.

The resumption of industrial production can wait; but feeding the socially and economically deprived cannot. It is all very well for the Prime Minister to appeal to the ‘affluent’ to lend a helping hand to the poor and needy. But the lives of the poor cannot be left solely to the compassion or altruism of the well-to-do. The government has to intervene to ensure that the poor don’t suffer want and wither. Food security must be high on the government’s list of priorities.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Published on April 14, 2020

A letter from the Editor

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