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COVID 19: Is the NITI Aayog right?

By Professor R RAMAKUMAR
May 28, 2021 17:28 IST
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On May 27, the NITI Aayog issued a statement whose aim was to bust myths floating around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seven myths were addressed by Dr Vinod Paul, who leads the health, nutrition and HRD verticals at the NITI Aayog.

As part of the Union government's core pandemic response team, Dr Paul also chairs the Empowered Group on Medical Infrastructure and COVID Management Plan, the National Task Force on COVID-19 as well as the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination

IMAGE: A drive-in vaccination centre in Ahmedabad, May 27, 2021. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters
 

The NITI Aayog statement provoked a virtual storm of controversy.

Among others, R Ramakumar, a professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai who describes himself on Twitter as an economist with an above normal interest in politics, tweeted a point-by-point rebuttal.

He began by saying:

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

Tweet images: Kind courtesy Professor R Ramakumar/Twitter

We leave it to you to decide whose argument makes more sense.

 

Myth 1, as addressed by Dr Paul.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

Rebuttal 1, by Professor Ramakumar

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

 

 

Myth 2, as addressed by Dr Paul.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

Rebuttal 2, by Professor Ramakumar.

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

 

 

Myth 3, as addressed by Dr Paul.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

Rebuttal 3, by Professor Ramakumar.

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

 

 

Myth 4, as addressed by Dr Paul.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

Rebuttal 4, by Professor Ramakumar.

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

 

 

Myth 5, as addressed by Dr Paul.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

Rebuttal 5, by Professor Ramakumar.

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

 

 

Myth 6, as addressed by Dr Paul.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

Rebuttal 6, by Professor Ramakumar.

Professor R Ramakumar coronavirus

 

 

Dr Vinod Paul had a final point to make. It required a clarification that was later added in italics.

Dr Vinod Paul coronavirus

It even required Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who heads India's COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force, to enter the fray.

Nirmala Sitharaman Covid tweet

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The War Against Coronavirus

The War Against Coronavirus