|Skepticism over official measures to control COVID-19|
GUWAHATI, June 29 - Some circles here are skeptic about the government’s handling of the COVID-19 issue and are questioning the sagacity of measures taken for containing the disease and the rationale behind the government’s projecting COVID-19 as a killer virus.
Similar skepticism has been demonstrated in western countries. Timothy Craig Allen, a Governor of the College of American Pathologists and Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Dr Judy Mikovits, a former research scientist and inveterate conspiracy theorist, according to The Guardian, blame the COVID-19 outbreak on big pharma, Bill Gates and the World Health Organisation.
Mikovits also claims that wearing masks is dangerous because it “literally activates your own virus”. Mikovits’s interview on the issue was uploaded on to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and other websites. Though it was removed later, it became viral.
It has been argued by these critics that the official metrics include deaths that have nothing to do with the virus. The problem is even worse as agencies like the US Centers for Disease Control overcount even some of these cases and the “(US) government has created financial incentives for this misreporting. Relying on these flawed numbers, the government is destroying businesses and jobs and costing lives”.
But reactions to such allegations from the authorities and the media in those countries also reflect lack of any trace of honour towards democratic temperament. They have confined themselves to terming the statements of such disbelievers as attempts at spreading disinformation.
Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, a renowned medical nutritionist of India, is also holding similar opinions on COVID-19 and several other ‘dreaded’ diseases.
In Assam, Dr Satyakam Phukan, a general surgeon, has been questioning the government’s way of handling the COVID-19 situation. For the past several months, Dr Phukan has been sending emails, SMSes and WhatsApp messages to his acquaintances, urging them to go deep into the COVID-19 issue to ascertain the justification in the official measures, like the lockdown, in containing this pandemic. “It is nothing but a hoax,” he said.
Dr Phukan has lodged an FIR with the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, urging him to take steps to ensure that India and its people are not made to suffer for this ‘hoax’. He also gave links to websites where information from across the globe like the ones on Pakistan Supreme Court ordering lifting of the lockdown, videos of empty hospitals, people refusing to wear masks, denouncing COVID-19 pandemic, etc, are available.
AJ Kashyap of environment group Environ has also questioned the role of the governments in handling the COVID-19 situation. Despite the claim that no cure is available for COVID-19, Assam has recorded the death of only 0.14 per cent of COVID-19 patients and the virus has infected only 0.021 per cent of the population. But the government and the media have been projecting it as a killer virus.
Kashyap said the government is urging the people not to panic, but it is silent on the issue of the treatment available to cure COVID-19 patients. The government should enlighten people on the treatment, besides making public the list of medicines used in the process, he said.