PM Modi's handling of coronavirus crisis in India needs to be recognised

Written By: N S Venkataraman
New Delhi Published: Oct 31, 2020, 04.22 PM(IST)

India's prime minister Narendra Modi Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

The essence of Modi government's management of the crisis is that Modi has been continuously communicating with the people by addressing the nation at regular intervals

PM Modi's handling of coronavirus crisis in India needs to be recognised

When COVID-19 originated in Wuhan in China and China concealed the information for some months and World Health Organisation (WHO) also 'co-operated' with China, no one thought that COVID-19 crisis would shake the world like it has now.

When it was known that COVID-19 virus was spreading fast all over the world, many experts opined that India could be one of the worst-hit countries due to coronavirus considering it has a large population and high population density compared to other countries. 

At present, the global COVID 19 tally stands at about 44.4 million cases and about  1.1 million deaths, with a percentage of death of around 2.5 per cent.

Europe has so far reported about 7.8 million cases and about 0.25 million deaths. Europe as a region is now reporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the  USA combined.

 

Country Area (in million sq. kms.)
India 3.287
China 9.597
Brazil 8.54
Canada 9.985
USA 9.83
Russia 17.1

 

 

Country

Population density (persons per sq kms) Number of COVID-19 cases(in a million) Number of deaths (per million) Death percentage
India 382 7.8 0.12 1.51
Brazil 25.06 5.3 0.16 2.95
Canada 4 0.2 0.01 4.70
USA 35.71 8.7 0.22 2.62
Russia 8.82 1.5 0.02 1.74

 

The success or otherwise of COVID-19 management should be seen not by the number of persons affected but also by the percentage of death reported among the persons affected.

Figures above highlight the fact that compared to some other countries like China, Brazil, Canada, USA and Russia. India has a greater population density. 

In South Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines have high population density. Compared with Indonesia and the Philippines and other South Asian countries, the number of COVID-19 cases in India has been much higher. However, India has managed to keep the percentage of death at around 1.51 per cent.

In comparison to other South Asian countries and rest of the world, India's performance has to be judged on the basis of several factors such as high population density, percentage of people living below the poverty line and consequently, low immunity level, number of cases reported and the fact that 90 per cent of the people have recovered.

Given the figures above, it can clearly be seen that the Government of India under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi has managed COVID-19 reasonably well compared to other developed countries. Number of deaths in India has been only 1.5 per cent of the total number of cases and the recovery is around 90 per cent, which is much better than the world figures.

Considering the fact that COVID-19 vaccine is yet to be developed and produced on mass scale, Modi government's performance in managing COVID-19 crisis should be recognised. 

The essence of Modi government's management of the crisis is that Modi has been continuously communicating with the people by addressing the nation at regular intervals. He meaningfully coordinated with the chief ministers of the state governments but gave broad guidelines and left it to the states to manage the situation as they deemed fit.

When Modi asked countrymen to applaud the doctors and para-medical staff for their commitment to handling the COVID-19 crisis by clapping for a few minutes, everyone responded with great enthusiasm. The same response was seen when he asked everyone to switch off the lights and light candles.

Moreover, when Modi wanted people to wear masks and observe social distancing, there was no protest from the people like in other countries like the USA. It is quite true that some people did not follow guidelines but was more due to indiscipline rather than opposition to the guidelines.

In a democracy like India, (some even call it chaotic democracy), people do not hesitate to conduct protests marches even for trivial reasons. A large number of people have lost jobs due to prolonged lockdown. People below the poverty line were the worst affected. It is extraordinary that Prime Minister Modi could manage this potentially explosive situation, without giving room for unrest and turmoil.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL.)

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