Shankersinh Vaghela: BJP, as a party, has achieved excellence in hiding facts and figures—a trait that runs deep into the saffron party’s hierarchy. This trait is particularly visible in cases when it senses that any data or figure can be detrimental to its image and will expose its governance failure. Hiding or manipulating data has been the BJP’s way of doing things for long. It blows its own trumpet when it does something good, but this marketing-based party makes tall claims even when it does not do anything good for the people.
At a time when the fatalities due to COVID-19 are on the rise, enough testing, quick treatment, and response can stem the trend. Yet, the government is shying away from carrying out more tests. Is it too much concerned about its image? The situation prevalent at Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad and the treatment rendered to COVID-19 patients in the state-run hospital was so bad that the Gujarat High Court had to intervene and caution the hospital administration to remain prepared for a surprise visit of the judges.
The hospital administration is concentrating its energy on pleasing their political bosses even as people cry out for help. It would not be an exaggeration to label Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, which is Asia’s largest hospital, as the burial ground for COVID-19 patients.
The government has issued testing guidelines without the application of mind and such guidelines are preventing private laboratories from carrying out COVID-19 tests. If a person suspects himself as having been infected and is willing to pay to get himself tested then why should he be prevented from doing so? If his test results are negative, he can heave a sigh of relief and why should we take away this right from him?
If private laboratories don’t have to wait for a green signal from the government to carry out tests, then a lot of the COVID-19 cases can be detected in the initial stages and such patients can be cured.This is a majority government so people have no other option but to put up with it. The elections—Assembly and Lok Sabha—are still far away and citizens have no option other than to keep complaining. Till then, people will have to oscillate between life and death either due to COVID-19 or the lack of medical facilities to deal with it.
The lack of capability of the government and the foolishness of the system has ensured that Gujarat remains under the constant fear of coronavirus pandemic.
(The writer is a former chief minister of Gujarat and is in active politcs for the last 50 years. The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gujarat Exclusive.)