Covid Protocol only for Rahul Gandhi. Is PM Modi & his rallies exempted?

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare had written to Rahul Gandhi asking him to strictly follow Covid protocols in his Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra had begun on 7th September 2022 from Kanyakumari and had reached Haryana at the time of writing this article after having crossed several states enroute. As the Yatra heads towards the nation’s capital, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya had written a letter to Rahul Gandhi to strictly follow Covid protocols such as usage of masks and sanitizers in the rally and also specified that only those who have taken the Covid Vaccine should be allowed to participate in the rally.

The letter also requested Rahul Gandhi that if the Covid protocols are not followed, the rally should be stopped in the interest of the nation. This move comes at a time when there has a rampant increase in Covid cases in China resulting in overburdened hospitals and crematoriums as the death rate has set alarm bells ringing all over the world.

Covid cases have been rising in the US, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and other countries have been rising too which had warned the world that the Covid pandemic is not over, after all, and the need to be vigilant is still relevant. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist, had described that the situation as ‘thermonuclear bad’ and warned that greater than 60% of China and 10% of the world’s population would be infected in the next 90 days and the deaths could be in millions.

https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1604748747640119296

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a high-level meeting with top officials and experts in the field to discuss the Covid situation in the country. It has been reported that there has been no change in guidelines for international travelers yet and the people should wear masks in crowded areas.

A letter had been sent to all the states by the Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan which had asked for positive case samples to be sent for genome sequencing to keep track of the news mutations and variants of the virus.

 

As the letter had been sent to Rahul Gandhi to follow protocols of Covid or suspend the yatra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been attending various rallies in the Northeastern states of Meghalaya and Tripura in the last few days and no such Covid protocols are followed.

 

See here and here for Modi’s Tripura rally and road show.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had criticized that the PM Modi’s government is alarmed by the huge turnout in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

 

Former Union Minister & Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had issued a statement in which he had pointed out that there are no Covid protocols active in the country. The statement said, “Parliament is meeting normally. Masks are no longer compulsory anywhere including on flights.”

Former Union Minister & Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh (ANI Photo)

Jairam Ramesh statement also pointed out that there has been no advisory from the Centre to states of late except the one issued yesterday on genome sequencing. He attacked the recent move from the union Health minister through a veiled attack by stating that the public health is far too serious an issue on which to play party politics. He also assured if a Covid protocol is put in place, the yatra would abide by it. Several other Congress leaders have also launched similar attacks on the Union Government.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s own website reports that there are 3,408 active cases in India with 129 new cases and for reference, at the height of the second wave there were around 4 lakh cases a day. When the number of cases has not risen in significant numbers and with no widespread Covid protocol in the country, singling out one party for its gathering while giving a freehand to the Prime Minister’s rally cannot escape these criticisms even if it was well intentioned. A general covid protocol for the country would ensure that Rahul Gandhi and his yatra too would have to abide by it, without which the Union Health Minister’s letter appears politically motivated.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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