Letters

Letters to the Editor — April 21, 2021

Pandemic management

One cannot dispute the need to vaccinate people of all ages. However, one should factor in the availability of vaccines in required numbers to make the campaign a success. Going by available reports, it would take a few more months for the manufacturers of the two locally available vaccines to scale up their production to meet the additional demand. Availability of raw materials to increase production needs to be reckoned with. There will be a greater shortage as vaccination has been opened up for all aged 18 and above. As everyone knows, India has a more younger population to cater to and there are just about 10 days to stock vaccines to meet the requirements when they turn up to take their jabs. This decision would also affect the availability of vaccines to those aged above 45, who are either taking the first dose or due for their second dose. There could be an unprecedented rush which would inconvenience senior citizens and persons with co-morbidities. One wonders whether it was a knee jerk reaction taken oblivious of the ground realities, for the purpose of silencing critics over a situation mishandled. We could have stocked up enough Sputnik vaccine before opening up vaccination for all. Such a proactive step would have also avoided possible shortcomings and chaos in distribution and availability as is happening now.

V. Subramanian,

Chennai

The lockdowns are expected to break the chain of transmission which could offer some respite to health-care workers and facilities swamped by an avalanche of cases. But lockdowns are leaky unless disease surveillance improves, masking is enforced, institutional alternatives to home quarantining are made available, and the food security needs of migrant workers to avert an exodus like last year are fulfilled. Further, access to testing and health-care facilities must be made accessible. Otherwise, a lockdown will not serve its purpose. Door-to-door testing and tracing to spot asymptomatic spreaders must be intensified. Despite much visibility about a micro-containment strategy, the public health system’s disease surveillance capacity is poor. Lockdowns cannot become the default containment strategy.

N. Sadhasiva Reddy,

Bengaluru

Election rallies

The nation would like to know why the top political leaders continue to attend election rallies in West Bengal when the people are facing a pandemic wave. Is winning an election more important to them than the lives of people?

The top political leadership should take a decision by cancelling all election rallies and setting an example to others (“BJP to have smaller crowds at rallies”, April 20). The decision should not be between smaller crowds or bigger crowds at rallies!

G.N. Raju,

Hyderabad

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 1:36:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-april-21-2021/article34370480.ece

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