PM in his address missed trashing unscientific and unproven ‘cures’ for coronavirus

It was sad to hear the Prime Minister claim that Science has found no cure for coronavirus and thereby ignore the global effort by scientists and doctors, who are racing to develop protocols

 PM in his address missed trashing  unscientific and unproven ‘cures’ for coronavirus
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Abid Shah

Prime Minister Narendra Modi downplayed science and its role in his televised address to the nation on Thursday evening, in which he exhorted people to unitedly fight the menace posed by the Coronavirus. He also claimed that there was no cure and no vaccine to ward off the deadly virus and its effects.

He could have pointed out that vaccine trials were going on in several countries, including India; that 96% of the people in China as well as Europe affected by the virus have actually recovered after treatment and that doctors in Rajasthan have successfully cured a few foreign tourists affected by the virus by a combination of drugs. He could have also informed people that this combination of drugs are actually being tried in other countries too.

This would have allayed misgivings among the people.

It was sad to hear the Prime Minister say that Science has no solution to the virus. It was sadder that the PM made no effort to debunk unscientific prescriptions, the propaganda that sprays of cow urine and taking bath in cow dung would cure people. He could have told people that singing bhajans was good for the soul and peace of mind but to sing, “ Go Corona, Go” might not be very effective. He could have also informed people that the virus does not distinguish between vegetarians and non-vegetarians, as some Indians clearly believe.

Myriad unscientific, whimsical and bizarre solutions are being offered to cure and remedy the effects of the virus. These include standing in the sun and soak in vitamin D to ward off the Covid-19 virus. This was suggested by none other than a central Minister. To add insult to injury, the gentleman holds charge of a department like Health and Family Welfare.

Indeed, the Prime Minister missed the opportunity to debunk such arrant nonsense and superstitious belief being spouted with complete confidence. Instead, he pointed to the inability of science in dealing with the virus. But he was palpably off the mark since the scourge posed by the virus is being kept under control to a great extent in quite a few parts of the world as also within the country only because of years of scientific expertise and knowledge. Whatever cases are being detected and treated are because of modern medicine and scientific knowhow alone and surely not because of the myths given credence by the Government’s spin-doctors.

As for the absence of vaccine pointed out by the Prime Minister, it was on March 18, that London’s daily The Guardian reported: “About 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create such a vaccine (capable of fighting Coronavirus).” Some are being tested on animals while clinical trials on human beings are imminent in a few more cases.

The hunt for a suitable vaccine is so feverish that top Western laboratories have collaborated with China for this. Beijing has shared even the minutest details about the virus and its intricacies with the West. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Xi Jinping have visited top laboratories in their respective countries as they are working overtime in their search for a suitable vaccine.

It was also disappointing to find the Prime Minister refer to the ‘ NavaRatri’ , which is round the corner but make no reference to the UP chief minister’s stubborn insistence to go ahead with a Ram Navami Mela between March 25 and April 8 and declaring that lord Ram would protect the devotees.

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Published: 20 Mar 2020, 5:00 PM