• Aslam Abdullah

Who Caused the Coronavirus to Spread?

The number of deceased is rising every day and may hit 3,000 a day by June. America and the world, in general, are not as safe under the mysterious deadly disease that scientists have so far failed to find a cure. With four million infected people and about 300,000 deaths, the situation is grim. No one knows when it would end, as medical experts keep on changing their analysis daily. What is clear is that the world could have saved itself from this disaster if it had a global response based on scientific facts and not on local and regional politics that has abetted the spread of the disease. The world's three largest democracies succumbed to their leader's self-made politics and brought upon the people a preventable disaster. England, India, and the USA share 35 percent of infected and deceased world wide. The USA and the UK were slow to respond to the pandemic, and India's ruling elites used it to serve their political interests. Both Trump and Johnson refused to believe that the pandemic was deadly. They compared it with flue and described it as a hoax. They were ill-prepared to deal with the onslaught. Through their negligence, they became the ambassadors of death to their people. They put the lives of millions of front line workers at risk, overburdened a broken health system and caused unimaginable loss to their economy. The religious right impacted these two leaders. Against medical advice, they encouraged people to avoid any precautions to prevent the spread. The result was visible. The disease spread faster than usual. The real numbers are still unknown, as 95 percent of the population has remained untested. In India, no one knows the extent of the disease. With less than one percent of people tested, the numbers are rising every day, and an unavoidable catastrophe is looming large. Indian ruling elites used Coronavirus to play their religion-based politics. They took a leaf from Hitler's Nazi Germany and projected Muslims as the spreader of the Virus and Islam as the enemy of the country. They held the Tablighi Jamat gathering of 5,000 people responsible for the disease. They imprisoned many, quarantined several, and stigmatized the Muslim community at large. Through their supporters, they launched the campaign to boycott Muslim vendors, traders, and businesses throughout the country. They even named the Virus affected areas after mosques. While they were busy attacking Islam and Muslims for the Tablighi Jamat gathering in New Delhi, they ignored hundreds of religious festivals, and birthday or marriage parties organized by their supporters and followers throughout the country. They even caused millions of migrant laborers to come to streets looking for transportation to return to their homes. All these events were the biggest spreaders of the disease. The government did not have the facility to test these millions, many of whom might have spread the symptoms to many more millions throughout the country. The government also censored medial experts to talk to media about the spread of the Virus. No one knows the actual number of the deceased and the infected. But the burial and cremation of dead bodies are on the rise. Until January India was reporting 25,000 deaths daily, but in March and April, the number rose to 28,000 as the local records of dead people suggest A global response based on scientific facts was perhaps the best solution. The world's best mind could have contributed to developing an effective strategy. Countries like New Zeland, Germany succeeded in controlling the disease. They did it as they took all precautions and did not use the Virus as a political tool to serve the interests of the elites. A pandemic is a global epidemic that spreads to more than one country or continent. Influenza pandemics struck about three times every century or roughly every 10-5- years. The most lethal pandemic flue of the 20th century was in 1918-19, in which an estimated 40 million people died in less than a year. It mostly killed people in the age group 2-45. The world could have learned from the past pandemics and worked to build an effective universal policy with modification t regional needs. But three stubborn leaders of the world, Trump, Johnson and Modi, whose parties have endorsed fascist ideas and used religion as a weapon to divide people., through their shortsighted politics, have prevented the scientific community from coming together to deal with the crisis effectively.

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© Aslam Abdullah