Within India, Delhi (the national capital), Mumbai (the financial capital) and Bengaluru (the IT capital) are most affected. This creates the impression that akin to ‘tactical nukes’ China has developed ‘tactical bio-bombs’
|The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army|
After China biologically bombed the world with the Wuhan Virus, the first pandemic casualty in India was officially reported in January 2020. Many hypotheses then prevailed, like: virus is communicated only through touch or surface; it can travel only up to 10 metre above the surface, and finally: that it is transmitted both through touch and air. Dr Francis Boyle, who drafted the Bio Weapons Act, is quite sure that COVID-19 is an offensive biological warfare weapon with DNA-genetic engineering, and this is known to the World Health Organization (WHO). Post the SARS outbreak in 2003, the then DG of WHO had also called on the international community to investigate China’s wet markets as the source but no action was taken.
Not without reason, China is the second largest donor for the WHO. It also pledged $20 million to WHO in 2020 to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. But China appears getting away from this monstrosity though it is not fully absolved yet. However, there is no move to appoint an international tribunal to try China for the worst-ever war crimes against humanity with the deaths and infections still multiplying.
With the second wave of Wuhan Virus ravaging India, a theory is in circulation that this too has been triggered by Beijing. Reasons being attributed are that India’s immediate neighbours are not as severely affected by the second pandemic wave and that within India, Delhi (the national capital), Mumbai (the financial capital) and Bengaluru (the IT capital) are most affected. This creates the impression that akin to ‘tactical nukes’ China has developed ‘tactical bio-bombs’. But since virus transmission is through the air and environment, it can hardly be contained to specific area(s).
We should be prepared for resumption of Chinese aggression in Ladakh and/or elsewhere. After all, the 2020 Chinese aggression in Eastern Ladakh was timed with India fighting the Wuhan Virus
At the same time, having initiated the Wuhan Virus, the possibility of China triggering the second wave in India cannot be fully ruled out. But if this is the case, we should be prepared for resumption of Chinese aggression in Ladakh and/or elsewhere. After all, the 2020 Chinese aggression in Eastern Ladakh was timed with India fighting the Wuhan Virus. But if China did trigger the second pandemic wave, why are we talking to this rogue country and accepting their medical equipment knowing full well they sold defective equipment, probably used and contaminated, to many countries including India during 2020 that was rejected by many. However, the fact that our External Affairs Minister is talking to his Chinese counterpart for medical assistance proves that the government doesn’t hold Beijing responsible for triggering the second pandemic wave. So is this mere spin doctoring to divert attention?
The truth is that the Indian establishment ignored clear warnings of the impending second wave and has brought unto itself the biggest disaster since Independence. With inadequate health infrastructure, people are dying by the scores for want of oxygen, daily deaths in thousands and infections in lakhs plus severe shortage of vaccine. Any amount of juggling of figures, throwing around the muck, frantic blame-games and cover-up to show that everything is under control will not change the horrific reality which is bizarre in the extreme.
In November 2020, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare specifically warned Parliament that India could witness an “unpredictable pandemic with possibility of second wave like in Europe”, and that "India is yet to reach its peak”. It also noted oxygen and medicine shortages during the first wave and drew a clear picture of the chaos if these gaps were not plugged. But no heed was given to this. The Madras High Court has observed that the Election Commission of India should be put on murder charges for being the most irresponsible institution in backdrop of the pandemic. But election rallies and mass religious festivities, both led by power hungry politicians, has helped the pandemic spread across the board.
In November 2020, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare specifically warned Parliament that India could witness an “unpredictable pandemic with possibility of second wave like in Europe”, and that "India is yet to reach its peak”
India produces about 1,00,000 tonnes oxygen daily with less than one per cent used for medical purposes. Industrial and medical oxygen are same product, produced in same plant, stored similarly and filled in same cylinders; industrial oxygen should be 99.5 per cent pure whereas medical oxygen is 93+\-3 per cent with each batch needing analysis and certification. The 18-day national lockdown in March-April 2020 and the first pandemic wave should have set the policy makers to upgrade medical oxygen production, concentrates, tankers, cylinders and upgrading health infrastructure. This would have saved thousands of lives. Where is the accountability of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as well as the Disaster Management Authority? But ironically, no heads will roll because of the collective failure of the establishment.
The Supreme Court has asked the government to revisit its vaccination programme. The fact is that it will take few years for India’s population of 1.4 billion growing annually at one per cent to be fully vaccinated. Presently, there is no plan to vaccinate children as well though many are catching the Covid-19 infection. Eminent doctors are advising that infected children must not be treated at home but where are the hospital beds and where is the vaccine for them? Moreover, according to specialists, children getting this infection are most likely to develop life-long diseases.
There is little doubt that stabilising the oxygen supply, health infrastructure and vaccinating the populace including children and upgrading the hospital infrastructure will take many months if not years. One source claims that oxygen supply will be regularised in about three-month time but that is doubtful. Meanwhile corruption and black-marketing is reaching new heights. Oxygen cylinders are being sold in black with a single cylinder reportedly sold for 92,000 in Gurugram. A person with .50 grams Hashish can be caught but hardly anyone apprehended for black-marketing oxygen cylinders. Recently, a consignment of 2 crore, 73 lakh and 70 thousand doses of ‘Duplicate Remdesvir’ (read fake) was seized in Gujarat. Such individuals need to be shot but their kingpins may never be caught. Notably, these may not be the only fakes, which means that the public can never be sure if the vaccine they were given was genuine or fake.
Will India learn from this massive disaster is the question. The indications are certainly not good. According to one report, 300 tonnes of emergency Covid-19 relief supplies from foreign countries including 3,200 oxygen cylinders, 500 oxygen concentrators and 1,36,000 Remdesivir injections received at Delhi airport since April 30 were lying there for five days when a spokesperson of the Delhi International Airport Limited last spoke to media. What happened thereafter is not known but some spin doctors relate the delay to custom clearance while some say that a group of ministers are to decide which state is to be given what. Finally, the vote-bank politics - whichever state has elections first, gets the larger share of relief in oxygen and vaccine. Even Haryana is shocked that part of its promised relief is being diverted to Uttar Pradesh where the pandemic mayhem is being downplayed but the Allahabad High Court alarmed at the happenings has termed it “genocide”.
Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment has complained that Delhi government has reduced its oxygen supply but Delhi High Court has issued show cause notice to the Centre asking why contempt action should not be initiated against it for not complying with the Court order to supply allotted share of oxygen to Delhi. It has also asked the Centre, “Are you living in an ivory tower?” The Supreme Court has stayed the Delhi High Court show cause but asked Centre to ensure supply of 700MT oxygen to Delhi. Can there be anything more absurd.