An editorial published in the British medical journal The Lancet on Friday stated that India could witness 1 million COVID-19 related deaths by August 1, 2021. The science editorial added that if this outcome were to become a reality, the Narendra Modi-led government would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe.
The Lancet editorial quoted the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation which is an independent global health research organisation. "India squandered its early successes in controlling Covid-19. Until April, the government's Covid-19 taskforce had not met in months," the editorial noted.
The well-renowned medical journal stated that the Indian government must restructure its response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. "The success of that effort will depend on the government owning up to its mistakes, providing responsible leadership and transparency, and implementing a public health response that has science at its heart," read the editorial published in The Lancet.
The medical journal, through its editorial, proposed a two-pronged strategy that can be adopted by India. The journal suggested that the country's "botched vaccination" drive must be rationalised and implemented swiftly. India should increase its vaccine supply and establish a distribution campaign that covers not just urban areas but also rural regions.
It also noted that India needs to curb the transmission rate of the coronavirus. For this, it should publish accurate data in a timely manner and tell the public exactly what is happening on the COVID-19 front and explain to them what needs to be done in order to bend the epidemic curve, including a possible nationwide lockdown. "Modi's actions in attempting to stifle criticism and open discussion during the crisis are inexcusable," Lancet said.
The science journal also criticised the Modi government regarding its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It said that despite several warning signs, the government allowed super-spreader events such as religious festivals and political rallies to be held across the country.
(Edited by Mohammad Haaris Beg)