Saturday, February 27, 2021

The lifesaving lights of India

By Lalit Garg

In between the frightening pictures and figures of the Corona epidemic and the havoc created by this dreadful disease; the whole world is waiting for a vaccine to eradicate this virus.  A safe and effective vaccine will be nothing short of lifesaving for the whole world. This life saving vaccine will not only become a light in the midst of the dangers hovering over human existence, but will also become a medium of life-establishment. This ‘Sanjeevani’ will bring the chaotic lifestyle back on track; it will burn new life in the collapsed economies and return the stripped smile of people.

For the progress and development of this vaccine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has travelled to Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad. The whole world is in search of health and life-protection vaccines as  the lives of people is  frustrated by Corona. The final vaccine trials are underway worldwide. The third and final trial of the vaccine is going on in India as well. There is good and happy news on the vaccine front in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken over the vaccine front himself. He visited the Zydus Cadila in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute in Pune to review the vaccine preparations in a single day. Their aim was to gain insight into the challenges faced in immunization, preparedness and roadmap in the country. The Prime Minister’s visit has yielded many positive results. CEO of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Pune-based Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawala, says there is no possibility of delay in the corona vaccine.


In the period of increasing infection of the corona epidemic, the early arrival of the vaccine, its effectiveness, its reach to the people and the pace of life-saving has become more important. Because Corona has snatched many loved ones from us. The third wave of Corona has wreaked havoc. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said long ago that this is an epidemic that can take away all our loved ones from us, but such warnings do not fully effect until we personally face this life threatening situation. Today, there is no family in the country whose members have not fallen prey to it. So far, over 1.4 million people have fallen prey to it all over the world and around six crore have been found infected. In our own country, the figure of people infected with corona is going to cross the horrific count of 10 million.

As the winter deepens, the firepower of the third wave of Corona is showing increasing and frightening scenes. Ironically, as this epidemic has become dangerous and life-threatening, we and our governments have become more careless, indifferent and insensitive. The beds of hospitals are getting filled up and the medical crisis is getting worse once again. The problem is not with Corona alone. Corona has also played havoc for people already suffering from other diseases. Necessary surgeries have been halted, people are shying away from seeing doctors outdoors and diseases like diabetes or blood pressure are proving fatal. The records of the corona victims are still saved, but there is no record of those who died of these diseases. The truth is that more people were taken to other diseases than those who died due to disaster in these days.


In these complex and desperate environments, cursing the governments will not work; there is no magic lamp in the hands of the governments either. Whether it is the central government or the state governments, everyone did well, whatever they could. Even though some governments have tried to do politics and seek political benefits in this epidemic and in the issue of survival of innumerable people. While some governments set an example of humanitarianism above political advantage. Planned all his power in the undertakings of saving people from this epidemic and their treatment. The example of Uttar Pradesh is in front. In March 2020, there was only one laboratory in the entire state to investigate Corona. In those days the hospital was not available for treatment of this disease. In a hurry, ventilators, bedding and related medicines were supplied. Para-medical staff along with doctors was trained. This is the reason why even the World Health Organization has praised the Government of Uttar Pradesh.


Other territorial governments have tried to do the same, yet it is not easy to deal with the epidemic of day and night in such a large population. There has also been a revenue challenge before governments, so that people can be fed. Elements of the epidemic that make life toxic and taken in dark tunnels are still sitting in our lives. Trying to get rid of them can only fight against Corona and start a new life. For which hopes are tied in India, the light of vaccines is visible. There is a reassurance of vaccines coming into the environment and it is expected that by the beginning of next year it will start reaching people, but everything will improve with vaccines, no one can guarantee it.

Corona is going to have a long-term impact on humans’ lifestyles. Therefore, for a long time, common people have to be careful and alert, following the use of masks and following the social distance, they will have to live on the basis of the lifestyle developed by the corona lockdown. To fight this epidemic, we have to change ourselves, but is it happening? In festivals, marriage, entertainment functions, religious events and social ceremonies, we are ignoring the safety measures and government instructions, which prove dangerous not only for ourselves but others also.


The Prime Minister is thinking of liberating not only the people of India but also the world from the corona epidemic. India is close to making a vaccine. Hence, the market for discussions on its distribution and use is a hot topic these days. The vaccine will be distributed first in India and supply to other countries will be considered later. Indigenous vaccines of Bharat Biotech International covaccine and Zydus Biotech are under development, which have shown encouraging results in Phase III trials. Other companies are also working on the vaccine on a war footing. All companies are following global norms. Although the US, Russia have claimed 90 percent of their vaccine success, the final conclusions are yet to be drawn. The process of making any vaccine is complex. These companies have found success by struggling with these complexities, they are praiseworthy.


It is a matter of pride for us to be counted as one of the largest manufacturers of generic medicines and vaccines in the world. Indian vaccine companies are far ahead of others. The Serum Institute alone can produce 40 to 500 million doses. Rays of light are now visible in the darkness of the virus and people hope that India will create a safe and effective vaccine. Russia has also contracted to build Sputnik-V in India. There are many challenges before India, but overcoming these challenges, India will be in a position to give vaccines to 300 million people by August-September. The NITI Aayog has prepared a complete plan to deliver the vaccine at every village and panchayat level. If India’s vaccine is safe and effective, then India will give life to the whole world. India has given yoga, ayurveda, spirituality and non-violence to the world, moving forward in this direction, India is ready to give vaccines form Sanjeevani. Certainly, in the case of vaccines too, India will become self-sufficient and it will be presented as an emergence of new life for the whole world.

(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasa samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at lalirgarg11@gmail.com)

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