Covid and India

 

Sir, – The Embassy of India (Letters, April 28th), in response to the Irish Times editorial “India’s Covid crisis : the price of complacency” (April 22nd) asks “for a little more empathetic reporting”.

The letter refers to India’s number of vaccinations as the third highest in the world but fails to mention that it is among the world’s lowest when related to per capita of population. It claims that “the scale and speed of infection could not have been anticipated”.

However, the Narendra Modi government should have been proactive, especially as it allowed local elections with mass rallies addressed by Mr Modi himself, and it placed no restrictions on Hindu festivals, especially the Kumbh Mela gathering at which around 25 million people attended without masks and in close proximity. Both events turned out to be mass Covid spreaders.

Mr Modi still refuses to face up to the gravity of the Covid pandemic. In his nation-wide address of April 20th, he requested state governments “to avoid lockdowns” at all costs.

While “empathetic” reporting cannot massage the facts to suit the sensitivities and failures of the Indian government or avoid reporting the situation as it exists in India, it doesn’t mean that we cannot extend the hand and heart of the Irish people to the people of India at this time of overwhelming crisis. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN BUTLER,

Malahide, Co Dublin.