Corona virus vs Election, who won?
At the time of writing this, there are 220 countries and territories around the world that has reported a total of 154,420,900 coronavirus cases, 3,230,355 deaths and 131,870,413 recoveries as of 4 May, 2021 all over the world. It has affected public as well as private sector all over the world and the democracy is also not untouched with this. Elections were held during the pandemic and so the suffering is increased exponentially. According to reports, largest number of confined cases are in United States with 33,231,971 cases. Many countries have taken measures to slow down the spread of SARS‐COV‐2, the virus responsible for COVID‐19. The measures taken by the government such as wearing masks, social distancing, all were repeatedly flouted during rallies, public meetings, etc. India has now become the second worst‐affected country by COVID‐19 in the world. It has a total of 3,68,060 new cases as of 2 May, 2021.
Situation in India
According to the studies, there was a rapid increase in COVID cases since 15 March and onwards in many states including the poll‐ bound states. Our honorable Prime Minister had called a meeting of all Chief Ministers on March 17 via video conferencing over the recent surge in COVID‐19 cases across India. India had 2,19,262 active cases of COVID‐19 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare till that date. Also, the state governments had given guidelines to restrict gatherings.
With an aim to vaccinate maximum number of eligible people against Covid19, India on Sunday launched the four‐day‐long ‘Tika Utsav’ or vaccination festival.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called ‘Tika Utsav’ the beginning of the second big war against corona but it failed in the very first day as there was lack of vaccines in the country itself. But it was helpful as more than one lakh people were being vaccinated on a daily basis.
Inspite of all these measures, all rules were broken during the continuation of rallies, meetings in the state where polls were recently held. Elections were held in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
HOW THE COVID‐19 HAS AFFECTED THE POLL‐BOUND STATES?
The Government of Assam had confirmed a total of 89,468 positive cases with 67,641 people being recovered, 234 deaths and three migrations in the state as of 3 May 2021.
There had been 15,33,984 confirmed cases, test positivity rate was 24.5% with 12,44,3001(81.12%) recoveries and 5,259 deaths as of 27 April 2021. On 29 April 2021, the state had reported the largest single day spike with 38,607 new cases. As of 2 May 2021, there were 31,959 new cases.
There were only 19 new cases in the union territory on 1 March, 2021. The cases stood to 313 on 13 April,2021. The peak of graph went to 1,360 new cases as on 2 May, 2021.
The state had registered only 470 new cases on 1 March, 2021 which became 5,715 cases on 13 April. Tamil Nadu on 2 May, 2021 reported a all‐time single day spike of 20,768 new COVID‐19 cases making the total number of cases 12,07,112 while 14,346 deaths and 153 fatalities.
General election to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal were held between 27 March to 29 April in 8 phases. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP continued rallies and meetings, on the other hand, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also continued to attend public meeting, rallies even after getting a leg injury in her constituency Nandigram. On 1 March, 2021 the state had registered only 200 new cases. There were total 17,501 new cases as on 3 May, 2021.
We can see from the data, there is a sharp increase in COVID cases due to the elections.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THESE ELECTIONS?
As you can see, due to these elections, the rallies and public meetings were conducted and as a result the number of COVID cases increased exponentially and so the lockdown will attack the poor’s livelihood, the night curfews and restrictions will again attack directly on the economy as the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is dropped and, the labour class will again leave the city due to the absence of livelihood. Especially the poor who earn on a daily for their livelihood will die due to absence of work. The condition has gone worst as several people are loosing their lives not due to corona instead, they are dying due to hunger. It has affected the health and infrastructure, there is a shortage of oxygen‐ the lifesaving element. The hospitals are full with patients, many are dying as there is a lack of medical oxygen. There is a shortage of oxygen in the country. There is a lack of vaccines also and so the decision to export vaccines to other countries has proved to be very wrong. India has exported 645.26 lakh doses to the countries UK, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Myanmar so far.
HOW CAN YOU HELP PEOPLE DURING THIS PANDEMIC?
One must understand the cost of lives being lost during this pandemic situation. And don’t be selfish, help others; you can save the life of an innocent. Here are some suggestions which you can do to help others:
- Make Donation to charity funds if you have extra money.
- You can volunteer virtually.
- Keep children learning.
- You can create awareness among people by giving the knowledge about facts and myths about COVID because many people don’t want to help others due to the myth
- Keep yourself connected to people and support them emotionally. It is a must for the situation we are facing right now.
At the end, I would like to say please take care of yourselves by following the rules like wearing mask, maintain social distancing, avoid going outside and washing hands frequently. Do remember that you are very precious to your family and friends.
“Unity and cooperation is the right choice for the international community in the face of a major crisis.”