China is accused of fudging it's figures. It suppressed the fact that a new disease is spreading till January 20. It had detected the disease back in November. It was never transparent.
US decided to go for a partial lockdown, because it did not want to affect its consumption-led economy. As a result, many ppl died. US followed an utilitarian approach, i.e. greater good for the greater number - as per their calculation. Some collateral damage is there, but economy has not sufferred.
India went for a total lockdown, at the expense of its economy. It's idea was protecting human life at any cost. It is influenced by Indian notions of ethics - that humanitarianism is supreme. That human life cannot be valued or compared against the economy. It saw a duty in the need to protect ppl from the epidemic.
Sir, I have written my answer on this line. Could be please review it
Hint- As I understand students will have to analyse and compare the responses of nations from a social and humanitarian point.
Where the question hit the syllabus- ethical concern and dilemma in government.
Sir can you please give some more reference points.
The news coming from countries like Brazil or China are mostly political in nature(callous statements, data suppression etc)
How to understand ethical, humanitarian responses of those countries?
@Smarak Swain sir please answer her query.
COVID-19 is such a rare crisis that all nations, regardless of geography and political systems are facing simultaneously and has exposed vulnerabilities of most of the countries, if not all.
Some countries like the USA, Brazil are badly impacted due to their slow response to the pandemic, whereas the image of China, the source of the virus, is falling across the global world. India has risen to the occasion in the eyes of the global community due to the government's swift policy decisions but the migrant crisis looms large amid pandemic.
Responses of different countries are described below:
Lack of transparency due to its governance structure resulting in widespread allegations of hiding a number of cases and deaths.
Brutal methods used to lockdown its provinces
Not showing empathy towards the sufferers
Allowing international travel during a pandemic endangering the world is a blot on China’s image.
Though brutal the steps taken has led to flattening of the curve.
Brazil and USA
Vested interests and partisan politics during the crisis.
Slow response has led to a huge number of COVID cases
Public officials not doing their duty and this is a classic case of avoidance of Dharma (as prescribed in Bhagavad Gita).
Eg: Brazil’s President “So what?” comment when asked about rising cases in
Brazil, USA blaming China and plans to stop funding WHO.
4. Effective testing and quick realization of mistakes have helped both
countries to fight this pandemic well.
Swift decisions such as airport screening from January onwards, early lockdown etc helped India to reduce pandemic impacted numbers.
While planning policies and implementation of lockdown Gandhiji’s Talisman wasn’t followed which has led to the migrant crisis, widespread hunger etc.
Police brutality was a common sight
Policy decisions such as PDS, MGNREGA etc have led to some relief.
This pandemic is an opportunity and effective global cooperation alongside internal reforms is the key and this may lead us one day to look back at Covid-19 with gratitude.
Well written Pushpendu... I had not read your reply earlier. It effectively covers most corners.
Thank you Sir
COVID -19 has awakened questionable thoughts in the minds of people regarding the response of various countries in containing the virus .
While some countries took drastic steps, slow responses were visible from others. Looking into the ethical dimension of various measures taken by countries such as China, USA, India and Brazil:
China: (the country where the virus originated)
• Administrative secrecy and inefficiency led the outbreak morphing into a pandemic
- delay in acknowledging the rapid spread of virus and awakening the citizens
- delay in releasing data
• human right violation by its authoritative government
- curbing freedom of speech
- discipling whistleblower for rumor-mongering
But some of its positive measures helped China to minimise the effect in only 76days
• releasing daily statistics and spreading awareness
• maintaining social distancing norms, mobilising community workers
• investing in public health infrastructure e.g building 1000bed hospital in just 10days
•USA initially focused in narrow blame game and threatening countries which led to rapid increase in number of cases
- Accusing china of the outbreak
- Demanding compensation from china
- Threatening countries of trade sanction
- Stopped funding WHO during the crisis
•Naming COVID as 'china virus' has led to hatred and racism
•It was more concerned about its economy than people lives
- Didn't follow WHO guidelines
•Misguiding the population by giving false statements such as Injecting cleaning products
Moreover the administrative inefficiency such as going against its own administration and a private health model has led to rapid increase in cases in a short span.
•Widely criticised for its slow response
•Continuously dismissing the treat of virus and calling it 'just a flu' and opposing isolation measures
•It's not the government but gangs and militia who took the responsibility of imposing curfew and lockdown eroding citizens trust on government
•With weaker social safety net and underfunded social health infrastructure ,Brazil became the new global epicenter with world's highest rate of transmission
•Acted proactively from the beginning by imposing lockdown, early evacuation, abiding by WHO guidelines, maintaining social distancing norms
•Took humanitarian approach
- Giving priority to human lives over the economy
- Poor and vulnerable sections were provided incentives through PDS
•Encouraging and valuing the duty of frontline workers
•Government ensured direct communication with its citizens
•But underfunded health infrastructure and little cooperation among states and societies increased the plight of health care workers and poor migrants.
This pandemic has given us the opportunity to value each individual's life and acknowledge their contribution towards society. It has also shown us the loopholes in our administration which should be addressed for any such crisis in near future.
USA and Brazil have a Presidential Government,China a Communist Government and India a Parliamentary Government.As the governments are different for different nations,their responses would vary.Still there are basic expections which any citizen would expect a government to do for them.
Highlights of US response:
1)Ensured basic income for the unemployed citizens as many jobs were lost.
2)Made a COVID-19 fund of 1.57 trillion to kickstart the economy
3)Ensured economy of the nation isn't going to be standstill.
4)Highest testings were done.
5)Stopped international flights to isolate the nation from the crisis,but late.
Ethically actions which could have been avoided-
1) Didn't heed to the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic,assumed it was just a flu which would vanish after some time without any scientific backing.
2)Some of the industries were working and social distancing wasn't completely enforced.
3) Prioritising economy over public health isn't a trait of a welfare nation.
Talking about China,the good things the government did;
1)Constructed hospitals in record number of days.
2)Enforced full lockdown
3) Ensured containment is restricted to Wuhan.
4) Postponed non-urgent medical care to build medical resources.
1)Kept its citizens in the dark on the emergence of virus,was non-transparent.
2) Didn't heed to the warning of doctors who first identified the virus and admonished them for spreading rumours by the government.
3)Brought down diplomatic relations with other countries to new low.
4)With companies of the affected countries in financial trouble,Chinese were eyeing a stake in them.
5) Didn't stop international flights to other countries.
Brazil's response maybe was opposite to what a citizen expects from the nation.
Amidst coronavirus pandemic,they engaged themselves in a political tussle, didn't enforce social distancing.They prioritised economy over public health and weren't alarmed by death toll.
1)It upheld public health over economy
2)Enforced complete lockdown
3)Made COVID-19 fund.It also ensured direct benefit of transfer for the money to reach targeted individuals.
4)Ensured good security of the poor.
5)Made arrangements for their return to home sensing the difficulties of the migrants
6)Showed soft power diplomacy by distributing HCQ tablets to affected nations.
7) Despite limited resources,mass testing was done.
India hadn't focussed on health sector much.A public health emergency can occur anytime and the dilapidated health machinery wasn't prepared to handle it.
Despite India's shortcomings,it prioritising public health and welfare over economy is a bold statement and example of how a elected government should ethically act like,for the source of the power is the people of the nation.
Sir, regarding India's approach, I think there is an assumption that protection from COVID-19 is the only step towards humanitarianism. But that is not the case because the massive blow of the lockdown has been on the daily wagers, the migrant labourers, small vendors, farmers and the likes, who form the majority of the population of the country.
Hence, neglecting economy can also hamper humanitarianism.