By Neeraj Bajpai & Devsagar Singh
The Death of over 36,000 people and mounting coronavirus infections to about 17 lakh people in India marks an inflection as well as reflection point in the pandemic which has sent a chill down the spine of people amid ever compounding health and economic woes, said several lawmakers today, stressing the urgent need of review of strategy to contain the unsparing virus.
They were airing views in an international seminar on the burning issue. The common refrain was that the policymakers must reflect on a slew of issues including lapses and achievements of their strategy while revising the entire lexicography of the pandemic to include those who did not test positive but are hard-hit victims of the battered economy. These victims are pining for food and shelter both, and are in dire need of physical hard cash instead of circuitous subsidies.
Mr.Ek Nath Dhakal
Prominent t Social activist and Nepalese Politician Ek Nath Dhakal who was in the webinar said the World was standing precariously on a pier amid swirling quagmire of the lethal pandemic, and this phase is the most crucial time between pre and posts COVID-19 phase and nations must reflect on the situation and the role they have played so far in combating the disease.
Lawmakers raised the issue of handling of the pandemic and said the central government must realize the stark reality that it could be tamed only by concerted and coordinated efforts of the center and states.
They said the overall situation is alarming with reports of over 50,000 cases daily for the last three or four days, including today’s data of over 57,000 cases in a day besides over death toll of 36,511 people so far. They advocated the need for joint committees of policymakers and state holders in the wake of the situation which they described as “alarming”.
The health infrastructure, they said, had come under a severe strain and some unscrupulous private operators are fleecing patients with exorbitant charges.
They feared if the situation was not handled effectively, there would be massive social tension in the wake of the increasing gap between poor and rich amid the stressful economic situation.
The lawmakers were taking part in an international seminar on the issue and said they were equally concerned about the global situation as the virus has infected 17.53 million and killed 678,000 people globally besides choking economies of even big nations. The cascading impact, they said, would be huge on the vast economy of India having 132 crore population.
Some Lawmakers aired grave concerns over fast-increasing coronavirus cases in India and said the government should not draw much satisfaction from a low rate of mortality. Instead, the government should augment health infrastructure in the government sector as the private sector chose to exploit the situation rather than giving affordable treatment to the poor.
Asserting that the year 2020 should not be treated as the year of profit and loss but it should be the year of survival only, the members of Parliament, both from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha representing various parties, said the pandemic has thrown a major challenge and the government must devise ways to put some cash in hands as they were grappling with daily chores during the pandemic’s ever-increasing onslaught.
They were participating in the webinar, organized by “IAPP-India Peace Talks on the theme” COVID-19 & Beyond: Challenges & Opportunities in Changing World”.
“International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)” is an initiative of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), which is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
IAPP is a forum Parliamentarians from all over the world to bring their experience and wisdom to bear in the search for solutions to our world’s problems.
Parliamentarians from around the world offer their remarks on the importance of their work and the value of increased cooperation and collaboration in the search for innovative solutions to some of the critical issues that Nations face on the local, national, regional and global levels, from climate change to the rise of extremist ideologies to humanitarian disasters and conflict.
Mr.Ek Nath Dhakal, Chairman, Universal Peace Federation (UPF)/ IAPP Asia Pacific and former minister in the Nepal government said that the pandemic was a transnational threat and nations must wage a united fight against the lethal virus which has let loose havoc with human lives and economies of various nations.
He said all energies be channelized to combat the disease and supplement efforts for making the vaccine and medicines. He implored countries for combined efforts rather than being sucked into both Intra and inter conflicts during this crisis phase. He said the world is currently standing on the middle pier of the pandemic as it is not the pre or post-pandemic phase.
Mr. Bhubaneswar Kalita, BJP MP in the upper house of Parliament, Chairman, IAPP, South Asia, said the coronavirus situation is alarming but the low rate of the mortality has saved India from a major crisis. He said the Union government had taken a lot of initiatives to handle the situation and economic relief packages were announced to face the situation. He hailed the government’s role during the unprecedented crisis and said the timely action had saved a large number of lives.
He said special thrust was given to the MSMEs and agriculture to mitigate woes of small entrepreneurs and poor farmers during the crisis time.
Mr. Tiruchi Siva, MP, Rajya Sabha, and DMK Leader, who has been appointed as Chairman of the IAPP, India Chapter today minced no words to air anguish over the situation and said there were more challenges than an opportunity.
He said the situation is abnormal and the government must not draw satisfaction in the low death rates as the cases were increasing at neck break speed. He wondered the recovered persons are not in the real terms of recovery but there are only discharge figures due to recurring health complications in them due to the non-availability of medication.
He said all social and human values are at stake and human beings are being treated as numbers only because of the contagious nature of the virus. He said the situation is pathetic and lauded the role being played by front line warriors.
According to him, Poor people had no means to eat and they have to venture out from the containment area zones for food. He feared the next two to three months are very crucial as some experts feel the peak will be during October.
He quoted some big entrepreneurs who are of the view that the year 2020 is not the year of profit and loss but it is the year of survival. So all our efforts should be directed to ensure the survival of all, he added and concurred with the concept. Other lawmakers were also of the same view.
Mr. K Somprasad, Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala, and CPI leader said that the government must look at the experiences of the first and second war for the resurrection of the collapsing Economy. He said the extraordinary situation is needing .extraordinary steps as the gap between the poor and rich was increasing at a faster pace due to limited opportunities in the economic sector. He said the lawmakers must shout for the rights of the poor before the situation goes out of hand for them.
Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah, Congress leader and Lok Sabha member from Bengaluru said this year, the government should not think in terms of the GDP but it should be in terms of the survival rate. He recalled sufferings of lakhs of millions who were left to fend themselves due to sudden nationwide lockdown and observed such step was not warranted without making some advance arrangements for them.
He said every sector has suffered May it is tourism, garment industry l scale sector, hotel industry, street vendors, or any other.
He feared if the situation was handled with political; sagacity, the society would witness social tension because of the possibility of unemployed youth turning onto criminal activities.
Mr .K Ravindra Kumar of TDP and Member, Rajya Sabha took strong exception to some private health care providers’ attitude to during the pandemic and said the government must take in its hangs the sector to ensure that poor people are also treated equally irrespective of their paying capacity.
He said the private hospitals charged exorbitantly even during the catastrophic situation. He said the whole world is facing an unprecedented situation but India’s challenges were bigger and tougher.
Dr.Banda Praksah MP, Rajya Sabha, and TRS party’s general secretary, also took objected to the sudden lockdown and said center must realize the gravity of the situation. He said the union government should form joint committees to pool ideas for the benefits of common masses. He was of the opinion that the allocation to the health sector must be increased substantially to make the health infrastructure robust to face such a crisis.
Mr. N. Gokulakrishan, AIADMK, RS MP from Puducherry said the private hospitals had charged exorbitantly during the crisis and the government must concentrate on the development of the additional health facilities in the public sector.(Pandemic Coronavirus bursts open/Pandemic Coronavirus bursts open/Pandemic Coronavirus bursts open)
Mr. Krishna Adhikari, Secretary-General, UPF India moderated the webinar and said there will be a virtual rally of UPF Founder Dr (Mrs) Hak Ja Han Moon and other bigwigs of UPF from, Seoul, Korea on August 9, 2020. About one million people from across the globe will be participating in the programs aimed at highlighting problems being faced by the world during the COVID-19 phase.
Former Ambassador KV Rajan, Chairman UPF India on the occasion said the given the size of India population, the mortality rate is quite low and the government both at the center and states had taken a slew of d initiatives to contain the virus. He said prominent lawmakers today made some valid points and the government must take additional steps to make the health architecture more robust.
Pandemic Coronavirus bursts open/Pandemic Coronavirus bursts open/Pandemic Coronavirus bursts open
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