ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI
The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed a toll of over 1.9 million lives worldwide, which is comparable to the entire floating population of Goa, having succumbed to the deadly coronavirus. America (3.74 lakh deaths), Brazil (2.03 lakh deaths), India (1.51 lakh deaths), Mexico (1.33 lakh deaths) and the United Kingdom (81,000 deaths) are amongst the worst affected according to the Johns Hopkins University figures. Over a year has passed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, but although vaccines have been deployed in America, Britain and a few other countries, still at this point in time, the infected number has reached the 90.2 million mark worldwide and the death toll especially in America and Britain continues to hit new peaks. The new variant of the coronavirus in Britain has led to about 80,000 new cases being reported infected on January 1, 2021, thus overwhelming hospitals and stretching the National Health Services, which has almost reached an emergency situation. Who is responsible for unleashing this diabolical virus and what is the degree of accountability that has to be apportioned? It is known that the origin of the virus was in Wuhan in China during the fourth week of December 2019 in the wet markets through bats, snakes and pangolins or due to an experiment in the virology institute of Wuhan which went wrong. Even the World Health Organisation team on fact-finding mission has not been allowed to visit China to investigate the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. What is the degree of blame that has to be apportioned on China, which is not cooperating in a just and equitable investigation into the origin issue, which has caused untold economic hardships and also such a heavy death toll worldwide? Can the world only stand as a mute spectator to this deadly trail of death?