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Opinion: ‘Bebasi’ – Our helplessness to fight a tiny being

Representational picture

Bage amut tche bagae Iram aasene

Cche tche praran magar babasi..babasi


Shola maran barchast aasene felai

Dout walan magar babasi..babasi

Kaanse hasil setha bartari aestan

Kuwate lashkarai Akbari aestan

Kahan Sikandar te kahan Gaznavi aestan

Harnawan magar babasi..babasi

………Bashir Dada

 ‘Babasi’ (helplessness) is everywhere. The virus has made us helpless. No matter how powerful we are, no matter how rich we are, everyone is helpless before a tiny virus. Millions of lives lost, millions gasping for breath, tens and thousands dying on roads. We all are helpless.  From deeply religious to agnostics, from liberals to radicals, everyone is raising his hands seeking forgiveness.

God seems to be in no mood to listen or relent. The angel of death is hovering from one place to another, one hospital to another.  Some dying a painful death, some dying in peace. Young and old, men and women, all on his radar. The virus making humanity dance to his tunes. Screams of infected people lying in hospital corridors are melting hearts of even stonehearted men. Kids struggling in their mother’s lap are making everyone restive.

Yet there are some people drenched in hubris. Yet some people have not learnt lessons. Yet some people are not turning to God. And yet some people failing to do the course correction. Our babasi is complete.

India’s Covid tally has reached 2.02 crore. This is the second-highest after the United States and ahead of Brazil. On Tuesday, India reported 357,229 fresh Covid-19 cases. 3,449 more people died of the infection, pushing the total fatalities to 2,22,408.

In the past seven days alone, India has added 2,613,415 infections to its tally. The country now has 3.44 million active cases.

Maharashtra with 4,771,022 cases, Kerala with 1,664,789 cases, Karnataka with 1,601,865 cases, Uttar Pradesh with 1,313,487 cases, Tamil Nadu with 1,207,112 cases and Delhi with 1,194,552 cases are the six most infected states.

The only silver lining is that Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are showing early signs of a decrease in daily new cases offering some hope of respite.

Jammu and Kashmir has 34567 active positive cases—12323 in Jammu and 22244 in Kashmir. As many as 1536 more COVID-19 patients have recovered—626 from Jammu Division and 910 from the Valley. Around 2421 have died of COVID in Jammu and Kashmir. They include 981 in Jammu and 1440 in the valley.

Pictures and videos of ambulances waiting outside the hospitals, mass cremations, patients struggling for oxygen, and attendants wailing and crying are proving our helplessness. 

Like vultures that feed on carcasses, some people are trying to scavenge on the miseries of the people in the pandemic. Fake Ramdesivir injections have flooded the markets.  Desperate people are lining up at chemist shops. Most of them return empty-handed because the injection is not available. If someone is lucky to get a hand over some vials, there is no guarantee that the injections will be genuine. 

In Telangana, police arrested a doctor and compounder for selling saline as Ramdesivir. Each vial filled with saline water was being sold for Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000. If this was not enough, Gujarat police seized 2,73000 doses of fake Remdesivir injections. Besides, over 60,000 empty vials, 30,000 fake stickers, and over Rs 90 lakh cash was also seized from a manufacturing unit

An investigational drug, Remdesivir is being used for serious COVID patients in hospital settings. Though it has not been approved by the FDA for general use, it can be used for emergency use in certain hospitalized patients. There are different theories about the drug. Some studies show that Remdesivir may help patients to recover.  Others said it can’t cure COVID.

Union ministry of health and family welfare has issued revised guidelines on the use of Ramdesivir. The ministry has said that the decision to administer Remdesivir or any other investigational therapy must be taken by a medical professional and administered only in a hospital setting and not in homes. 

In fact, the government has said that if fever is not controlled, patients should take Paracetamol 650mg four times a day, consult the treating doctor who may consider advising other drugs like a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Naproxen or Ivermectin. Inhalational Budesonide has also been advised if symptoms like fever or cough is persistent beyond five days.

HLL Lifecare Ltd, a government of India owned company, has ordered 4, 50,000 vials of Remdesivir from M/s Gilead Sciences Inc USA and Egyptian Pharma Company, M/s Eva Pharma.

 It is expected that Gilead Sciences Inc. USA will dispatch 75,000 to 1,00,00 vials in the next one or two days. Further, one hundred thousand vials will also be supplied before or by May 15.  EVA pharma is scheduled to supply approximately 10,000 vials initially followed by 50,000 vials every 15 days or till July.

Even in these tough times, there are some Good Samaritan who have made us proud. . From providing oxygen cylinders to arranging Ramdesivir, volunteers are busy helping the wounded mankind. These selfless youth and NGOs have raised hopes that humanity is still alive.

(Views expressed are author’s personal. Feedback at [email protected])