Massive Covid-19 bungling slips by unnoticed in small town India

By Akarsh Sharma

With the day’s coronavirus fresh infections rising to new records every day, one can only hope for the betterment of the catastrophic situation caused by the second, more virulent wave of Covid-19. Social media is awash with people becoming activists for people looking for oxygen, beds and other help for their Covid-hit relatives. There are many others holding the government to account for its lapses in anticipating the killer scythe. But with the spotlight on the travails of those living in the big cities in the country, the state of smaller cities and towns across the country seems to have fallen into the abyss of collective amnesia.

One Mr. Gopal K. Sharma, a senior advocate who was present at a Covid vaccination center with his wife at Bhadrabad near Haridwar, Uttarakhand, witnessed a fool’s paradise when he reached the facility to get his jab during the allotted slot after, yes, registering online.

“When I reached the health center with my wife, three men told me that they came to get vaccine as per allotted time but were sent back because the only staff present there told them that the vaccine can only be opened if there are seven people around to take it. When I went inside the facility, it was entirely vacant and there were two ANM (nurse) who informed me the same thing. When I asked them to show me the written notice or any valid paperwork, they had no answers. Instead she handed me her phone after dialing a call to senior doctor who iterated the same thing; Vaccine can’t be opened for one person. Come tomorrow.”

“There was no doctor present at the facility and later they ceaselessly sent back people without administering vaccine. Citizens are called amid curfew and Covid surge risking their lives just to create a better world but this is how they are being treated,” said Sharma.

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The world has been shocked into sitting up seeing the plight of the thousands losing their battle against Covid in Delhi but an even greater mess of planning, management and performance has infiltrated small town India, threatening its very existence.

It is time, the government, the people realized this war is not for one person to fight. Everyone has to win or we all lose.
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