A rebuttal to UK economist’s slur “thank god Coronavirus didn’t start in India”

Jim O’Neill, the chair of U.K. think tank Chatham House and  former Goldman Sachs chief economist, has stirred a controversy with his comment “Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India” while praising the “fast, aggressive” Chinese response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Here is a detailed article to dismantle Jim O’Neill’s ill-informed and bigoted claim. This will show how Bharat has dealt with the treat of COVID-19 with far greater tenacity and firmness than almost ALL countries.

Firstly, despite sharing a border of 3,488 kilometres with China, Bharat has only reported 84 cases and 2 deaths. Compare that with 1140 cases and 21 deaths in the UK.

Bharat is the only country in the world to evacuate its citizens 6 times (and counting) and evacuated the most number of foreign nationals. The Indian Air Force evacuated a total of 723 Bharatiyas, 37 foreign nationals from Wuhan. Bharat has evacuated 119 Bharatiyas and 5 foreign nationals from Japan.

IAF also evacuated 58 Bharatiya pilgrims from Iran on the 10th of March.  This brought the total to 900 Bharatiyas and 48 foreign nationals. Bharat is leading the fight against COVID-19 in the South Asian region, offering diplomatic, humanitarian and medical assistance to its neighbours.

A total of 56 Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) have been set up in Bharat to test its citizens as well as foreign citizens in a record time, with a plan to build 56 more VRDLs in the next month. This insane level of efficiency hasn’t caught the eye of the media.

Bharat currently has one of the world’s most efficient and reliable testing systems, reducing the time taken to get test results back from 12-14 hours to four hours. US health officials have admitted that their system is failing and testing has been very sluggish.

As a result, from Iran, Afghanistan up to Timor Leste, countries in Asia have been requesting Bharat to help set up testing facilities in their countries. Bharat has sent 6 top scientists to set up a make-shift lab and testing facility in Iran to test 6000 of its citizens because Iranian officials refused to test Bharatiyas due to their high load. Bharat plans to send 3 more airplanes in the next week to airlift its citizens.

Bharat has provided 15 tonnes of medical assistance comprising masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment to China.

Bharat has sent Maldives a 14 member medical team comprising of pulmonologists, anaesthetists, physicians and lab technicians and also a large composite of COVID-19 medical relief to assist Maldives health authorities. Bharat has screened 1,057,506 people from 30 airports and 77 seaports.

Bharat has suspended all visas to Bharat as well as visa-free travel facility for OCI cardholders. It has closed its border with Myanmar. The Bharatiya nationals coming from COVID-19 hit nations after 15 February will be quarantined for 14 days. This is in contrast with the UK with far more cases but no quick action whatsoever.

Bharat has the world’s biggest state-sponsored health assurance scheme, covering over 500 million beneficiaries (approximately 8 times the size of the UK). Bharat’s drug prices are among the cheapest in the world. Medbelle ranks Bharat as one of the five countries with the lowest median prices for drugs around the world due to an elaborate price control mechanism for drugs and the government’s ‘Jan Aushadi’ project to provide cheap affordable medicines to the poor.

China had silenced the doctor who identified COVID-19 and he died 6 weeks later. China let this brew. On the other hand, when Nipah virus was found in Bharat in 2018, 3 doctors identified it and authorities immediately reported it to WHO. 2000 were quarantined and 17 died in total.

Bharat would have NEVER allowed it to become a pandemic. The ancient Bharatiya civilization, being one of the most advanced in the world, idealised vegetarianism and expounded Ayurveda, and as a result, did not come in contact with any serious threat from plagues/ diseases in its millenniums of existence. It was way ahead of its time with gifting the world the ‘Namaste’ – which is now being propagated by every world leader.

Bharat has NEVER created any pandemic in the history of its existence. You are highly misinformed, Mr. O’Neill.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of @shacindananthan )

(Featured Image source)


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