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Monday, August 15, 2022

As India’s lethal Covid Wave approached, politics took precedence over science.

Scientists selected by the Indian government expressed scepticism about the likelihood of a second wave of Covid-19 in September 2020, eight months before a devastating second wave hit the country. Researchers noted in a research that was extensively reported by Indian news media when it was published last year that previous illnesses and early lockdown measures had slowed the spread of the virus.

The results aligned perfectly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two major objectives: reviving India’s ailing economy and launching a campaign for his party in state elections that would take place the following spring. In contrast to this, Anup Agarwal, a physician who worked at the time for India’s top scientific body, which evaluated and published the research, was concerned that its findings might lead the nation into a false feeling of security.

Following the catastrophic second wave, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, many people in India are questioning how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration could have overlooked the warning signals. According to current and past government researchers and documentarians, part of the solution lies in

According to the researchers and papers, senior authorities at Dr. Agarwal’s organisation — known as the Indian Council of Medical Research, or I.C.M.R. — concealed evidence that showed the dangers of the procedure. According to the researchers, they exerted pressure on experts to remove another study that called the government’s efforts into doubt, and they distanced the agency from a third study that predicted a second wave of attacks.

Scientists at the agency who spoke to The Times described a culture of silence in the organisation. If midlevel researchers disagree with their supervisors, they are concerned about being overlooked for promotions and other possibilities, according to their statements.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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