Congratulations to the government, it's head in particular, for fighting the corona menace with mighty and gutsy steps. As the scale of testing escalates, the identification of the corona infected also goes up in numbers.
The government has also painstakingly worked out a meaningful zoning map of the country into red, yellow and green categories. The implication is that blowing up the testing of the localised red zone inhabitants and selective yellow zoners preferably through rapid testing kits (RTK) will give a firm handle to contain, test, diagnose, quarantined at home or hospitalise for the treatment of the infected.
May I humbly draw the attention of the head of the government to put the issue of saving the life of her dear citizens on war footing. The prime minister may wish to put corona fighting as the topmost priority for the period up to September 30, 2020.
Specifically, it will mean designating one of the ministers ─ outside the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) ─ as the chief coronavirus coordinator for
- Imposition of curfew in the red zones for two weeks,
- Arranging emergency imports of adequate number and topmost quality RTK in a week,
- Ensure selection and one week training of health workers,
- Get at least 200 centres of testing in the red and yellow zones
- Ensure 60,000 plus testing a day and
- Ordering hospital beds with facilities in the public and private hospitals as well as makeshift hospitals in the five star hotels, stadiums, community centres, diagnostic labs, pharmacies etc.
This scheme will not deter the Coordinator, with the approval of the Head of the government, to arrange import of duty reduced equipment, ventilators, ICU and kits at war footing.
More importantly, a new drug administration has to be set up to work as a sharp watchdog to spot and punish selling of sub-standard and adulterated medicine and health kits. Price hiking which is a very serious malpractice these days will also have to be dealt with. Obviously, the coordinator will have to work with the MOHFW.
There is no need to panic if, by the end of August, the number of the infected rises to 0.80 million perhaps exhausting the pool of the potential coronavirus patients who have already been contained, localised and identified under the curfew.
Efficiently strict and well managed hospitalisation and home care would cure more than 95 percent of the identified. Oxygen, ICU, ventilators, vaccines when available and WHO prescribed medicines should be procured and made available through the regulated marketing chain under the newly created drug administration.
Coordination and firm yet transparent handling in time will ensure realisation of the prime minister's desire to save life first. It will be advisable, however, to formulate a strategic development plan for the period 01 July 2020 to 31 December 2021; the corona fighting action plan as outlined above will be a priority component of the plan.