The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its deep concern over the media reports which refer to growing unease of our scientific community including members of the high-powered task force under ICMR.
The report of the internal discussion along with the actual minutes of such discussions brought out in public domain, clearly point out that the lockdown will not halt, but at best temporarily suppress the spread of the virus. Unless effective steps are taken, we cannot tackle the pandemic. Proper protection for frontline health workers is another urgent necessity.
Scientists reportedly recognise the danger of heightened transmission in absence of proper facilities for physical distancing in crowded busy neighbourhoods with common toilets. Ensuring adequate food rations can only remove the need to go out of congested localities, which is necessary to contain the spread of the virus. Unless time-tested practices of testing, tracking the infected and their contacts, proper quarantine, isolation and treatment for fighting the pandemic are undertaken, unplanned lockdown can at best secure the protection for the wealthy and influential, but would do little to protect the poor.
The Polit Bureau calls upon the central government to urgently initiate action on these recommendations to protect the lives of the citizens from the ravages of the pathogen and address the livelihood imperatives particularly to prevent hunger and malnutrition deaths.