Nitish Kumar’s media management techniques are well-known. Despite poor handling of coronavirus, he gets very little negative coverage from local as well as national media.
A few days ago, a COVID-19 patient named Chunnu Kumar, 40, was reportedly declared dead by the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and his family was handed over the death certificate and the body. The body was taken to the crematorium and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the officials did not allow the family to take a look at the dead body.
However, after the family insisted, they were allowed to take a look at the body and were as shocked to find out that it was the body of some other person. Later it was found that Chunnu Kumar was alive and was not even infected with Coronavirus.
“My whole family has tested negative for coronavirus. My husband has been nursing a broken leg for several days. He cannot move an inch, how could he test positive for the virus? Hospital is neglecting their patients, otherwise, how could they be mistaken?” said Kavita, Kumar’s wife.
The above example of Chunnu Kumar is enough to infer that the Nitish Kumar government of Bihar has reportedly failed in managing the coronavirus and is busy fudging data instead. A few weeks ago, in an investigative series, The Indian Express revealed that many Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Bihar were fudging the COVID-19 test data, and recorded the total number of tests conducted in many districts much higher than the actual numbers.
However, none of the medical officers in these districts were held responsible for fudging data and escaped with the statements like ‘strict action will be taken’, ‘we will get it investigated’ and so on just like the superintendent of Patna Medical College who said “Stern action will be taken against those found guilty,” in the dead man declared alive case of Chunnu Kumar.
“We have received some complaints of Covid test data fudging. We have also withheld the salary of the Barhat PHC medical officer on-charge. We will initiate action against any official found guilty in our investigation,” said Jamui District Programme Manager (DPM) Sudhanshu Lal in the data funding case.
After the data fudging was revealed, Pratayaya Amrit, Principal Secretary, Bihar Health Department, said, “We will get this investigated at all levels. We are asking civil surgeons to explain how such things are happening. We are also proposing to link such tests to Aadhar. We are introducing this system for the Covid vaccination.”
Nitish Kumar is proving himself inefficient in handling the coronavirus crisis in Bihar despite the experience of one and a half-decade. During the migrant crisis, when states like Uttar Pradesh sent buses to bring back their stranded workers from cities like Mumbai and Delhi, Nitish Kumar told the workers from Bihar to stay where they are. Moreover, when the labourers reached the border of Bihar in the buses provided by other states for their citizens, the Nitish Kumar administration reportedly kept them in quarantine in inhuman conditions.
The newly elected CMs like Yogi Adityanath, Hemant Soren, and Bhupesh Baghel have proved themselves to be more effective than Nitish Kumar – who has decades of experience in the Union as well as state government.
If the BJP wants its reputation to not be destroyed due to the inefficiency of Nitish Kumar, it must throw the JD(U) chief out and install its own CM in Bihar.