Farmers Protest: Virus

   Posted by: aman   in Other, Punjab

Day 170

Toll 460 (approx)



Though no one can tell by how much the official COVID-19 numbers differ from the actual numbers of cases and deaths, the data of last one week shows the national peak seems to be waning. At least, officially.

Yesterday, Divya Bhaskar, a Gujarati newspaper reported that this year between March 1 and May 10, the Gujarat government issued 1.23 lakh death certificates as compared to 58 thousand last year. That is a difference of 65,085 deaths. While the official COVID-19 deaths are 4218, the rest of the deaths are explained away as heart attack/kidney related/pneumonia and so on. The families of the deceased know their member died of COVID-19.

This is under-reporting by 13 times. The figure is also an indication of the trust deficit of the common people with the government. We can see it in the huge catastrophe unfolding around us. Three weeks back we faced the crises of unavailability of oxygen, we still have not overcome it. Or the unavailability of beds and even tests. This is tragic beyond mere government inefficiency. It reveals to us the complete lie of the right-wing dispensation being able administrators.

In spite of this abject failure, the Haryana CM now says the farmer protests have led to spike in numbers in Haryana. I do not doubt the national highway districts being more exposed than others to the virus. Just recently, huge numbers of famers from Panjab and Haryana reached the protest sites. The farmers are not coming out of choice, they are coming because the government has forced them to come. It is the government which is responsible for the protests, it is the government which is responsible for failure to contain or handle cases. Yet, the government has the gall to villainise the protests.

Over the past close to 6 months, the death rate at the protests moved from 2.3 in December/January to about 2.7 in April/May. While many deaths are still from accidents and other illness, there is no doubt the virus is also resulting in deaths at the protests. Yet, the virus has not exploded at the protests the way it has all over country. The protests have not become super spreader events like the Kumbh Mela and Bengal and other states election rallies.

The reasons are a) same as in winters, they are open air; b) the unions are observing precautions.

The dark humour in the protests is: we used to say Modi has not said anything about those who have lost their lives in the protests, now we see he has not said anything about over 266,000 deaths in the country. According to a ground estimate the number is already over 1 million – 10 lakh dead.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 15th, 2021 at 1:21 pm and is filed under Other, Punjab. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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