The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to “wake up from slumber” and tackle the challenges arising out of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a letter to the ministry, the association said it had been “astonishing to see the extreme lethargy and inappropriate actions” from the ministry in combating the crisis. It alleged that suggestions of its members and other colleagues are “put into the dustbin” and that decisions are taken without understanding ground realities.
“In the last 20 days, IMA has been insisting on the need for a complete, well-planned, pre-announced national lockdown rather than a few states declaring lockdowns called by different states for 10 days to 15 days,” the letter said.
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This, the association said, would give “breathing time” for the country’s healthcare infrastructure to recoup and replenish. A nationwide lockdown “would break the chain of devastating spread. However, the central government has refused to heed to implement lockdown”, resulting in mounting number of COVID-19 cases, the letter said.
The IMA also asked why the government had been so late in rolling out universal vaccination, and why vaccines were not made available in an equitable manner. It also questioned the “unhumanistic” differential pricing of vaccines and alleged that the government was “shedding its responsibility”.
“The crisis of oxygen is deepening every day and scores of people are succumbing to O2 mismatch and supply,” the letter said. This is creating panic both among patients and fraternity.”