LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (08/05/2021)

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Emulate Mumbai Model Of COVID Management

Goa now finds itself in the disaster zone, having earned the dubious distinction of setting a new all India record of being a state with the highest COVID-19 positivity rate of 41 per cent over a period of 14 days. Nothing seems to work in this smallest Indian state even after the imposition of night curfew and lockdown curbs since the past week, and people observing a self-imposed lockdown in several villages, spearheaded by a few village panchayats. It is a pity that a state, which until recently prided itself of being the ideal tourist destination now finds itself unable to breathe easy for lack of oxygen. Mumbai, on the other hand, has set us a wonderful example of how to contain the spread of the virus, flattening the COVID curve of daily rise in positive cases from 10,000 plus to the present level of around 2,500 plus in a short span of a month or so. A wonderful model for all states to emulate which even the Supreme Court has recommended to “take a leaf out of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation experience”. The success rate has been so phenomenal that it even prompted Mumbai’s Municipal Commissioner to declare that Mumbai is now out of the woods. I wonder how long it will take for Goa to be in such an enviable position.

A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM    

Arvind Kejriwal Must Show Some Maturity

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should cut down on his stridency on demands for medical oxygen to treat COVID patients in the national capital. One can understand that there was a crisis and every effort was made by all those involved to resolve the crisis of the supply of oxygen to the Delhi hospitals. Things are a lot easier now than what they were and as reported in a news item in newspapers, a Delhi hospital reported stock for 999 days on an App. Though one may need to verify this but other news definitely indicates that things are turning around. Therefore, the continued alarmist approach by Kejriwal, on the supply of medical oxygen, and mobilising even the courts on the matter, smacks of trying to corner stocks at the cost of the country where many regions are facing similar, if not acute crisis. At many hospitals in different states, patients have been dying for lack of being administered oxygen. Thus Kejriwal is requested to go easy on demands for medical oxygen. Even as the crisis for medical oxygen is in reasonable control, Kejriwal has now started on the shortage of vaccine supply for the 18-44 age group knowing fully well that there is a crisis there. That the central government deliberately created the problem by announcing vaccination for this age group without factoring in vaccine supply and completing the vaccination programme for the older people is known to everyone. Thus Kejriwal should show more maturity and desist from pursuing the approach of ‘the Crying Baby Gets The Most Milk’ on both, medical oxygen and the virus vaccine, looking at the larger needs of the nation.

S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ

Providing Succour To Needy

Doctors, nurses and paramedical workers are frontline workers; they are India’s COVID-19 heroes. Famous philanthropists, who donate in crores and lakhs to the government to help it tide the crisis are in a league of their own. But there are other real life heroes too, who have gone out of their way to aid the distressed and the needy during these difficult times.  They are ‘ordinary’ in appearance and in the way they live, but are the unsung heroes of the country. Courageous human beings do the right things when nobody is noticing. They do not hesitate to lend a hand whenever they are sought after. They are oblivious to plaudits that may come their way when their virtuous deeds are spotted. The sole intention of real heroes is to make this a better place to live when scarcity of essential services has become the rule. People have given out their commercial establishments for COVID treatment purposes. Oxygen langars are being supplied to hospitals and patients. Free medical consultations, free food and medicines, free ferrying of patients and relatives – good Samaritans are there everywhere. The gracious tendency of the heroes, in testing times, to provide succour to the disadvantaged and the ailing goes beyond the imagination of mere mortals and these become stories of hope and confidence for the country. Comforting others comes with a huge cost: putting one’s own finances and routine on the line. Unsung heroes know that sometimes they need to sacrifice something that matters to them so as to offer something that matters more to someone else. Many a time, the real life heroes are subjected to vilified campaigns by the ‘social media commentators’. However, these noble men and women do not give a hoot to the unemployed slanderers.  For some, being a good Samaritan is a profession; for others it is a vocation. For both, it is a passion. The only aim of the real life heroes is to give back to the society at least a fraction of what they have received in life.

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA