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COVID-19: Cong. leader Jairam Ramesh asks why govt. has discontinued regular health briefings

Jairam Ramesh. File.

Jairam Ramesh. File.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

‘Let AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria give a brief regularly as citizens deserve to know the truth,’ says the former Union Minister in a series of tweets

Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday questioned the Centre’s move to discontinue daily briefings on the novel coronavirus pandemic and suggested that All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria give a brief regularly as “citizens deserve to know the truth”.

In a series of tweets, the Congress leader also asked the government to allow the parliamentary panel on health to meet the Ministry officials as well as experts of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Also read: Coronavirus | Confusion over mismatch in Health Ministry, ICMR figures

“Why has the government of India discontinued daily briefings on the health situation? All countries inform their citizens through the press in a time of crisis. At such times, credible and professionally competent faces should be telling us what is happening,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“The Health Minister, a medical doctor himself, has so far stayed away from daily briefings. My suggestion to govt: Let Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS, brief the country every evening. Let experts speak relying on facts and science. Our citizens deserve the truth.”

Also read: Chidambaram asks govt. to release uniform figures of positive cases

The Congress leader also questioned the transparency and effectiveness of the earlier briefings by the Health Ministry officials.

“The Health Ministry official when he was briefing last kept saying that MAYBE the peak will never come. What are we to make of this assertion? Is there a larger design to this statement made not once but thrice? Recovery rates are rising, says the government. Fine. But does this have any scientific meaning? Recovery rate is a function of the time of entry into hospital. What about cases where the COVID patient does not have access or is denied entry into hospitals,” asked Mr. Ramesh.

“The Standing Committee on Health, of which I was a member for 5 years, is chaired by the very sober and responsible Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav. The Committee should be allowed to meet and interact with the Health Ministry and ICMR,” he suggested.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 9:43:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-cong-leader-jairam-ramesh-asks-why-govt-has-discontinued-regular-health-briefings/article31638924.ece

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