NEW DELHI— Look who is hitting out at the Modi-led government at the Centre!
Dr. Parakala Prabhakar, the husband of union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has hit out at the central government for being “numb, insensitive and heartless” towards the colossal tragedy that is unfolding due to the second wave of COVID 19.
“Prime Minister’s popularity and communication skills seem to indemnify the incompetence and heartlessness of this government. They could ride out the anger of the visuals of migrant laborers because of numbing. But popularity and political capital have a habit of running out without giving notice. Numbing will not last forever. Compassion, transparency, empathy will last. PM should exercise his choice at least for now,” he said in his weekly Blog `Midweek matters’ on YouTube.
Dr. Prabhakar said the country is witnessing one of the largest surges of COVID in the world. “Death toll is mounting. By the end of Monday, the official number of infected cases was 2.59 lakh. The death toll was 1761. A cumulative number of cases stand at 1 crore 563 lakhs 14 thousand and 714. In just two weeks, India has added 15 lakh new cases,” he said.
He said that the country is underreporting the actual number of deaths and cases (because of obvious reasons). “Deaths are underreported. Cases too are underreported. Doctors tell us that situation is grave. Testing too has broken down. Hospitals and lab capacities are overwhelmed. Footage of ambulances with patients outside hospitals, dozens of bodies being burnt at crematoriums, scores of stretchers doubling up as hospital beds and relatives wailing are choking our social media timelines,” he said.
Hitting out at political and religious leaders for being “unmindful of this agony”, he said it is elections and religious resurrection that matters for them, not the public health or people’s lives.
“For political leaders, elections are important. For religious leaders, renaissance of religious identity is important. Public health or people’s lives matter little for them. Our television channels show people being mobilized for rallies. PM, union ministers, CMs, opposition leaders, and dense gathering of people at Kumb Mela. After the damage is done, religious leaders said Mela hereafter will be symbolic. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi announced the cancelation of rallies. TMC and BJP continue rallies with flagrant violation of COVID protocols,” he said.
Dr. Prabhakar lashed out at those who justified rallies and Kumb Mela. “It is disgusting to hear. They often say our rate of infection is less. They resort to heartless country comparisons and selective comparisons. Even cross-country comparisons of are flawed. We are much higher than Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. This is something we need to ponder about,” he said.
He said to fight COVID, they need to vaccinate 70 percent of people excluding pregnant women and children. “That means we need to vaccinate 70 crore people. We need 140 crore doses of vaccination. It is clear that we are not prepared. Vaccination is slowing down. The uncivil and ill-tempered response by the union health minister to former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is out of depth,” he said.
Dr. Prabhakar said the government has squandered the lockdown period. “Lockdowns are not the solution but means to pause the virus until vaccine and medical infrastructure is available,” he said.