NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has came down heavily on the Centre’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic so far and termed it as “extremely lethargic”.
The IMA, largest body of doctors in India, said that advisories and suggestions made by health professionals are not paid heed and the government is taking decisions without realising the ground realities.
Citing instances of many experts requesting the government to impose a nationwide lockdown, the association said that the central government’s refusal to impose lockdown has led to over 4 lakh daily Covid-19 cases in the country.
A nationwide lockdown of at least 10-15 days was necessary, emphasised the IMA, in order to get a breathing time for healthcare infrastructure to “recoup and replenish both the material and the manpower”. The doctors’ body also said that individual lockdown by different states and night curfews were ineffective in breaking the chain of transmission.
The IMA said that despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of phase 3 vaccination rollout from May 1, the ministry has failed to chart out a proper roadmap and arrange vaccine stock which has led to the suspension of vaccination drive at several centres across the country. It also criticised the differential pricing system for vaccine purchase by states and private hospitals. Citing the instance of smallpox and polio vaccination drives in the past, the IMA said that the country had been able to succeed on account of free vaccine provision for all age groups across the country.
The IMA also said that despite sufficient production of medial oxygen in the country, several private hospitals are bearing the brunt of its shortage due to faulty distribution management.
It also questioned the government data on the number of new cases and mortalities and wondered why the government was hiding actual Covid-19 statistics. Citing an example of false RT-PCR negative tests, the Indian Medical Association said that authorities are not adding cases getting traced through CT-scan reports.