Balanced Approach Needed To Deal With Covid-19

Balanced Approach Needed To Deal With Covid-19

Justice Markandey Katju writes about the need to reconsider the approach towards the coronavirus crisis.

Some time ago on February 14, I had written an article, 'The danger of corona virus has been greatly exaggerated' which was published in

Today, on 19th May, it is reported that in the last 24 hours, 4970 people in India have tested positive for Covid-19 and there have been 134 deaths in this period. It is also reported that till now 1,01,139 Indians have tested positive for coronavirus, and there have been 3163 deaths.

In contrast with USA, which has one fourth India’s population, but the largest number of coronavirus cases, till now 1.55 million people have tested positive for corona, and there have been 91,000 deaths.

When it is said that in India till now 3163 have died of coronavirus, why is it not mentioned how many Indians died during this period of tuberculosis, flu, malaria, dengue, diabetes, heart attack and other medical problems? Why has a comparative chart not been prepared? If it is found that other diseases cause far more deaths, is the danger of coronavirus not exaggerated?

No doubt the virus is a matter of concern, but is it such a danger in a country with 135 crore people justifying a nationwide lockdown?

Has any calculation been made how many people (daily wagers, migrants, etc)  will die of hunger because this lockdown has deprived them of their livelihood? If this is more than the deaths due to corona, is the lockdown justified?

How many people who get infected by corona die of it, and how many recover? If only about 2% who are infected die of it and the rest recover, as one report stated, was the lockdown justified?

Since India has a population of 1.35 crores has had only 3163 deaths, while USA with one fourth our population has had 91,000 deaths, does this not indicate that Indians have much more immunity to the disease? So even if a lockdown may be justified in USA, is it justified in India?

I think the time has come for us to demand some answers to these hard questions, which have unfortunately not been put forward yet.

Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.