Several global media channels and portals have been misrepresenting India’s fight against COVID-19 in a poor light. However, post the imposition of the nationwide lockdown, testing has gone up by a whopping 24 times while the growth in new positive cases has been 16 times as per Central Government figures. The government has been able to cut down transmission of COVID-19 with its strategic lockdowns and pro-active measures. If the comparative study between India and other global nations after crossing the 400th coronavirus case is taken into account, then India had just 20,000 overall cases in a month back then while the UK had 1,20,000 cases in the same period followed by 1,00,000 cases in Italy.
The Government has implemented a three-part system for treating coronavirus patients. For those who are critically ill, the Government has come up with designed COVID hospitals (DCH) including private healthcare operators with facilities like oxygen support, ventilators, and ICUs. For those with moderate symptoms, DCHC (dedicated COVID-19 health center) facilities have been created. For mild cases, there are COVID care centers that can be set up in schools, hotels, hospitals, and other premises with oxygen support.
Facts and figures at present
As per the latest health bulletin released by the Centre, almost 15 lakh people have been tested for COVID-19 in just one day, for the very first time. Total tests are nearing the 7 crore mark while 47.5 lakh patients have recovered till date with 81,177 people recovering in the last 24 hours alone. National Recovery Rate stands strong at 81.74%. Previously, data was released by the Union Health Ministry which clearly showed that the combined population of the 15 worst affected global countries was 142.6 crore people (Brazil, USA, UK, Russia, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran, Peru, Mexico). Altogether, these nations had 36.45 lakh cases while India with approximately 137 crore citizens, had just over 1 lakh cases as of 19th May. These countries had combined death figures of 2.73 lakh people as compared to 3,303 casualties in India within this period. The global countries recorded 34 times more COVID-19 cases than India and 83 times more deaths in this duration as per the Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal.
How are global portals and news sites misleading citizens?
Global news conglomerates are presenting a wrongful picture of India and its action against COVID-19 at a time when the Central Government has actually implemented a series of radical measures for strengthening healthcare. These portals are harping on isolated incidents where supposed medical professionals complain about working conditions and the poor infrastructure overall. On the contrary, the country’s medical care system has got a shot in the arm with the implementation of the National Digital Health Mission, the best possible global system for data handling in a situation like a coronavirus pandemic.
The NDHM will create extensively integrated digital health infrastructure with HealthIDs being voluntary for residents. Citizens can choose to create their IDs and accounts through their Aadhar Card or digitally authenticated mobile phone numbers or email IDs and address linked details. The ID holder can offer shared access to personal health details and records for an hour to unlimited durations. Consent can be withdrawn at any moment. Nurses, healthcare personnel, and doctors will be integrated and registered into the NDHM for obtaining real-time insights into data, conditions, health history, and the like.
With a 10-year blueprint when it attained power in 2014, the Central Government has come out with several other reforms including the establishment of a dedicated Nurses Registration & Tracking System and the passing of the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code, 2020 bill for enhancing working conditions. The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 has also been introduced along with the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, which offers greater security for healthcare workers in the country. Under this Act, those insulting or obstructing COVID warriors will be liable to pay fines or even a jail term as per Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. India is on the right track towards radical healthcare reforms that will revolutionize healthcare tracking, delivery, infrastructure, and protection for healthcare workers in almost every sphere. The Government has also pro-actively handled the COVID-19 pandemic with recovery rates spiraling encouragingly as of now. In this context, citizens should not set store by misleading and negative reports issued by various media houses.