Bureaucrats Lead The Fight Against Covid, Some Falter
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 19 Apr 2021, 3:45 pm IST
- 6 minutes read
Bureaucrats from all across the country are giving their all into fighting the second and more deadly wave of coronavirus while some have contracted the infection in the process.
The Novel coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020 and has stuck around since. This unpredicted pandemic seems to be here for an indefinite period of time. While citizens of the country breathed a sigh of relief in the cold months of December and January with the toll of cases dropping to a few hundred, the relief was short-lived as the second wave of the pandemic rose up again, this time, bigger and harsher than before, and has been engulfing lakhs of people in itself, every day.
In such a tough time, bureaucrats from all corners of the country are working their fingers to the bone in order to curb the spread of the deadly second wave of coronavirus, as much as possible. Ministries have started restricting visitors; virtual meetings replace physical ones and work from home back in vogue in government offices. Unfortunately, they themselves are becoming a casualty in the process.
In the national capital alone, over two dozens of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers are down with Covid, thereby putting strain on the already stretched civil services. Many of these officers, especially in the health ministry, had been at the forefront of handling the pandemic. Besides about 100-150 government staff posted across ministries have also been infected with the novel coronavirus.
“In many ministries, drivers and multi-tasking staff (MTS) have tested positive and are on leave,” an official in the road transport ministry said. “Many others are showing symptoms but have not been able to get themselves tested because of the huge rush at testing centers.”
DELHI HOSPITALS TO BE MANAGED BY BUREAUCRATS
For better hospital management, Delhi Government has deputed bureaucrats in private hospitals. Additionally, 24 DANICS probationers have also been deployed to assist the nodal IAS officers for better management and supervision.
“The IAS officials shall spearhead and oversee the entire Covid management apart from their regular duties, and will be assisted by DANICS officials with immediate effect. Medical superintendents and directors of the respective hospitals will obtain the concurrence of all decisions relating to Covid management from the assigned nodal officer.”
DR. ROSHAN JACOB APPOINTED AS DM, LUCKNOW
After the former District Magistrate of Lucknow, Mr. Abhishek Prakash tested positive for Covid-19, the government-appointed Dr. Roshan Jacob as the DM in charge of Lucknow, effective immediately, for Covid-19 management.
The 2004 batch Kerala cadre officer had also served as the DM of Kanpur in the year 2014-15. Today, she is taking charge of Lucknow amid the COVID-19 surge in Uttar Pradesh, which is among the top states leading a rise in the national count, alongside Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, and Karnataka.
Uttar Pradesh recently imposed a night curfew in 10 districts that reported more than 2000 active cases of COVID-19. The pandemic seems to have worsened in the state as the number of active cases is almost double the highest active caseload reported last year. On April 15, the capital city Lucknow reported 35,865 active cases with other cities such as Prayagraj and Varanasi reporting 13,237 and 11,562 cases respectively.
REPORTS FROM ACROSS COUNTRY
Indian Masterminds talked to leading IAS officers from different states and districts to analyze the condition of the sudden rise in Covid cases and to understand the various steps taken all across through which these officers are putting efforts to curb the spread of the virus, in their own way.
IAS officer, Dr. Vinay Goyal posted as the District Development Commissioner in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is not only looking after his people but also the staff of his administrative team so they don’t feel tired after working for long hours on the field. Moreover, he has activated the district’s infrastructure again, in terms of Covid care facilities and testing centers.
“Even the younger ones are getting infected now, so we are ensuring that there are adequate beds in the medical facilities. We are getting 900-1000 cases per day, so we are making projections and estimating the rise in numbers in upcoming weeks, so we could prepare a plan accordingly and are able to provide the best facilities to the infected ones,” says Mr. Goyal.
IAS officer Mr. Aditya Ranjan deputed as Officer on Special Duty, Health department in Jharkhand states that the condition of the state is quite alarming. With a rapid increase in the number of Covid patients on a daily basis, it is getting extremely difficult to manage the condition.
“The condition is bad and with the numbers increasing so promptly, it is tough to say anything as of now,” stated Mr. Ranjan.
IAS officer Mr. Deepak Jacob, Project Director & Member Secretary of TANSACS in Chennai, Tamil Nadu is coordinating with the government in managing the bed availability and Covid care centers across Chennai. The previous year, the city had 18000-25000 beds and this year, with the help of administration, the number of beds has increased to 30,000.
“We are taking this as an opportunity to ramp up our helping staff measures. We have also set up hospitals exclusively for Covid-19 with all the facilities available. We have not faced any shortage of oxygen or medicines, as of now and things seem under control,” says Mr. Jacob.
IAS officer, Ms. M Arunmozhi, posted as the Chief Development Officer in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh stated that the district has 2-digit cases of Covid-19 but the number is slowly increasing. Therefore, the administration is increasing the number of L2 Covid hospitals, the number of beds, enhancing ICC rooms, etc. to look after the people.
“Since panchayat elections are approaching, we have reactivated ‘nigrani samitis’ to screen, test, and home-isolate the migrants. We are expecting the number will be tripled or quadrupled by the next 3-4 weeks, therefore we have renewed all the protocols and are preparing for the condition,” stated Ms. Arunmozhi.
Talking to several civil officers from across the nation, Indian Masterminds realizes the difficult condition that the country is going through and how these determined bureaucrats are doing everything in their capacity to curb the spread of the deadly second wave of coronavirus.
END OF THE ARTICLE