Who Dirtied our Clean Slate? - G Plus

Thursday, 21 January 2021



Who Dirtied our Clean Slate?

Swapnil Bharali | April 04, 2020 17:06 hrs

Suddenly, this week, it is a different scenario for Assam. And it all started on March 31 with a frantic tweet by health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, requesting for voluntary disclosure and reporting of all the Nizamuddin Markaz attendees who had returned to Assam. Swiftly, Assam’s Coronavirus positive cases rose from 1 to 5 and now to 20 and are still counting.

For the moment, I am only concerned about Assam’s clean slate being badly scratched a bit late when the same could have been forewarned. While the Delhi government had, on March 13, issued orders banning assembly of more than 200 people for any kind of “sports activity or seminars,” it would be ridiculous to consider that it had no idea of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that was taking place at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the first Corona positive case that was detected from that congregation was as early as 17th March; MHA got inkling of it on 18th March, by its own admission. The case was of an Indonesian who had travelled to Telengana. Now if that was not an early enough warning, it remains unclear what took the MHA four whole days to draw up the first list of around 800 foreigners who had congregated at the Markaz. That makes it the 21st of March. Further, with all the concentration on making the 22nd March Janata Curfew a success, vital testing took a backseat with the first tests at the Nizamuddin Markaz being conducted as late as 26th March – a whole week pitifully lost.

Assam, in the meanwhile, continued to maintain zero cases, but by the time our health minister received the requisite information about Markaz attendees being back in Assam and urgently tweeted his appeal, the state’s Covid-19 scenario was already skewed. 1 case to the current 20 cases took no time to surface; the indignation of the Assamese public could only be pitied!

So, who was at fault in New Delhi that Assam finds itself in this situation? Was it Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi government who committed this sin of omission by keeping silent about the congregation for reasons best known to him? Or was it a sample of inefficiency of the Home Ministry led by the politically astute Amit Shah whose basic intelligence in this regard can be easily questioned? Who?

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