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Why are Covid cases remaining around 150 in Ahmedabad, neither rising, nor coming down?

By Rajiv Shah 
A journalist-friend rang me up from Mumbai yesterday. A routine call, this friend wanted to know how the situation was with regard to Covid-19 pandemic in Gujarat, especially Ahmedabad. I told him that I don't have facts, as I am not in live touch with officials anymore, quite unlike earlier, when as a "Times of India", man was posted in Gandhinagar, there is reason to wonder whether the data released by the officialdom are correct.
Take for instance Ahmedabad city, I said. Here, the number of Covid-infected cases, strangely, have been hovering around 150 every day for the last nearly one month. They rise to 155-156 on one day, then fall to 145-146 on another, and vice versa. They do not rise, nor do they fall. There is a popular view: The data are being manipulated, with local journalists claiming the disease is "spreading" and one should "take care". 
I joked: We are being forced to live in a self-reliant manner, alluding to the Atmanirbhar Bharat talk of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apparently, we are being told to be "atmanirbhar" with regard to Covid-19. We have no other option but to be "atmanirbhar" in case the disease strikes us, as the government wouldn't care, so the best way is to stay at home to stay safe.
Talking with me in lucid Gujarati, though he himself is a Marathi, this journalist friend, apparently, didn't want to listen to anything bad about the BJP rulers in Gujarat. He replied: There is manipulation of data everywhere, whether it is Maharashtra or Delhi. In Mumbai, the governance has gone to dogs, and policy makers do not know what to do with rising cases.
He didn't stop here. He claimed, data manipulation is "universal" across the world, whether the US or Europe. I was taken aback. US has been frank in providing data about the number of cases, I thought. At least this is the impression I get from my near and dear ones there. And this is true of most European countries. Then, he turned to Pakistan, stating, they don't test, and have been massively manipulating data.
Puzzled, I asked him: If this was so, why did the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief went so far as to single out Pakistan among seven countries which are done extremely well in fighting coronavirus? The WHO chief said, Pakistan has used its grassroots health infrastructure effectively. India wasn't even mentioned. His reply was interesting: Who trusts WHO? I asked, whom do you rely then? And he had no answer.
He tried to turn the conversation into another direction, seeking to tell me how the entire Bollywood is gripped with the narcotics issue, and this was a new expose. But I was not much interested in it, as I thought the whole issue has turned into political, with polls expected in Bihar and West Bengal. Shashank Singh Rajput had become the BJP icon in Bihar, while Rhea Chakroborty was being projected as Bengali girl sought to be targeted! 
This is not for the first time that this journalist friend talked with me. Once earlier, when the lockdown was in its second week, in April, he told me how well the government was "handling Covid-19", and but for the Tablighi event in March, things would have been over much earlier. I told him, there were warnings earlier, but the government didn't care to listen. 
For instance, I said, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted in early February 2020, about one-and-a-half month ahead of the lockdown, about the danger of Covid-19, citing a Columbia University study. My dear friend, it appeared to me, got a little irritated: "Better Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi go to Italy and take care of the spread of the disease there, instead of talking about it in India"!
And I was dumbstruck! 

Comments

Unknown said…
Normal Response of Pro-BJP Person and Nothing Unusual. I am Babubhai Vaghela from Ahmedabad. Thanks.
Unknown said…
Yes exactly this is the depth of understanding of many 'Bhakts'. While they are busy counting how many times Trump lied, they would not care to keep a count of lies of our very own the Liar here.
Hence to expect any sane thing from such characters always leaves people disappointed.
Melbourne Desi said…
Typical 'Bhakt' answers. Not surprised.

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