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BIG STORY                                                                    APRIL 23, 2021  |    The Indian Eye                          5

            The medical experts are
        worried sick. Dr. Jalil Parkar,
        one of India’s leading pulmo-
        nologists, wears his exhaustion
        on his face. In between treating
        patients  at  the  COVID-19  in-
        tensive care unit of Mumbai’s
        prestigious Lilavati Hospital,
        Parkar appears regularly on
        TV to give updates on the cur-
        rent,  devastating  second wave
        of the pandemic that is killing
        thousands of Indians. He him-
        self spent time in the ICU last
        year and almost died after suf-
        fering multiple COVID-com-
        plications. Now, he confesses to
        losing his calm over what he is
        seeing unfold every day.
            “Our healthcare system has
        collapsed. We have let down
        our own people in the country,”
        he says. “What can doctors do               Relatives of COVID-19 patients queue up to get refilled Oxygen cylinder at Talkatora Industrial area,
        when our infrastructure is un-                                               in Lucknow on Friday. (ANI)
        able to take the patients, when
        there are no hospital beds or ox-
        ygen cylinders?”
            Not just the healthcare sys-
        tem, the country’s image too is
        in tatters.
            For image-conscious Nar-
        endra Modi, the foreign press’s
        reviews of his handling of the
        coronavirus pandemic must
        make devastating reading. Modi
        has gone from hero to minnow
        in fighting Covid-19 in the eyes
        of the world press as daily in-
        fections have soared to succes-
        sive new records. After appear-
        ing to have skilfully ridden the
        first Covid wave with one of the
        world’s strictest national lock-
        downs, Modi has been engulfed
        by the second, according to the
        verdict of the foreign media.
            Headlines like: “Modi floun-
        ders in India’s gigantic second
        wave,” in The Times, London,
        have been typical of the cover-
        age that the Prime Minister has
        been receiving as the daily count     A COVID-19 patient breathes with the support of an oxygen cylinder as he arrives at a government hospital amid
        of new Covid cases has barrelled                               the surge in Coronavirus cases, in Kolkata on Friday. (ANI)
        past 300,000. The Times has
        blasted the government’s re- ranging from op-eds to detailed  the country are running out of  haustively by sections of India
        sponse to the latest coronavirus  reports – on India’s situation  space at a time when with the  media, a study of them is worth-
        wave, saying it has “underscored  and the lack of governance in  kicking off of vaccination drives  while chiefly to note how India’s
        the air of complacency and deni- key aspects that led to it. The  worldwide, the end to the pan- handling of the second wave has
        al that have dogged his govern- national capital is held hostage  demic had appeared near.                    reflected  worldwide.  Among
        ment’s response to the crisis.” by  an unprecedented  shortage               While global media reports  publications that have minced
            News  outlets  across  the  in medical oxygen and burial  deal largely with events and as- no words in holding the Centre
        world have focused pieces –  grounds and crematoria across  pects of the crisis reported ex-                     Continued on next page... >>

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