Letters to the Editor — July 16, 2020

Gujarat’s data

The viral tracker is a good way to watch the time-trend of cases and deaths in the 14 States it covers. In 13 States, the number of deaths tends to move proportional to — hence graphically generally parallel to — numbers of cases, fairly consistently, from July 2. That stands to reason: the more the cases, the more the number of deaths. However, one State, Gujarat, stands apart, consistently showing an anomalous reverse trend: cases are increasing but deaths are declining. There are two possibilities: data is either true or false.

It is timely and important to examine how doctors are treating COVID-19 in Gujarat — whatever their mortality reduction method — by pharmacological or supportive treatment. It must be identified immediately and replicated in all other States to reduce COVID-19 mortality. We will then know whether the numbers tell the truth. It is also possible that COVID-19 deaths are being under-reported in Gujarat; as it is consistent, under-reporting could be deliberate and by design. An immediate auditing of the way COVID-19 is treated in hospitals and how deaths are reported is necessary to clear up any suspicion of data falsification.

Dr. T. Jacob John,

Vellore, Tamil Nadu


On Hagia Sophia

Turning Ayasofya [Hagia Sophia] into a mosque is not a major setback to the country’s secular values. It was a decision of one of the benches of the Council of State, the highest administrative court of the country, and taken unanimously, not much different than the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of India on [the] Babri Masjid/Ayodhya Temple case, on November 9, 2019. Neither of the decisions has anything to do with the secular characters of our democracies. The verdict of the Council of State is based on proof and laws of the country. Ayasofya has been and will be protected duly as meticulously regardless of its status. The Council of State has decided to annul the 1934 decision of the Council of Ministers, which then converted Ayasofya into a museum, upon the application submitted by an association. This is a legal ruling and everybody is expected to respect the decision since we all are committed to the rule of law. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not rewrite the Constitution. In referenda, Turkish voters said ‘yes’ to the proposed constitutional amendments. The Hindu ’s Editorial (“Museum to mosque”, July 13, 2020) tries to link the Ayasofya decision with the civil wars in Syria and Libya. Turkey is siding with the UN-recognised government of Libya instead of a terrorist called ‘General’ Haftar for the peace and stability of this friendly country. [Also,] economies in all countries, including almost all G-20 members, are suffering due to [the COVID-19] pandemic. This has also nothing to do with the court decision on Ayasofya.

Sakir Ozkan Torunlar,

Ambassador of Turkey in India

New Delhi

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 8:26:49 am | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-july-16-2020/article32095111.ece