By Pranay Kumar Shome
It has been almost one and half year since the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world upside down as we know it. Homo Sapiens continue to fall, economies struggle to recover and death and despair has become a daily spectacle. However the most ironic thing of all to note is that the origin of the dreaded Covid-19 which has wrecked havoc around the world is still unknown. After emerging from Wuhan city of China’s Hubei province in November 2019 it is still nebulous as to from where and from what did the virus came from.
What is more concerning is the belligerent and braggadocio behavior of the Chinese regime regarding the origin of the Covid-19 virus. They continue to undermine any fruitful attempt to unlock the origins of the esoteric virus. However the situation may change now, US President Joe Biden has instructed his officials and CDC (Centre for Disease Control), the premier health regulatory authority to trace the origin of the virus by using existing evidence and data to find the source of the virus. He has also asked China in an unusually blunt manner to “come out clean on the source of the virus”.
Is China Hiding Something?
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling book ‘Homo Deus- a Brief History of Tomorrow’ has written at length about the nature of pandemics and how scores of human beings fall prey to these pestilences. He has highlighted that every pandemic has a source and uncovering the source of any disease is the key to fight its menace. Hence China has a moral and global duty to ensure they come out clean as to from where the Covid-19 virus originated.
But the million dollar question is- is the dragon hiding something? At least the bravado of the Chinese communist regime points to such a thing, that there is definitely something wrong about the origins of the virus vis-à-vis China. Dr Weng Meng Liang, a Chinese doctor who was the first person in the world to sound an alarm bell was heckled and was forced to apologize to the Chinese nation for having ‘besmirched the reputation and image of the Chinese Communist Party for his erratic behavior”.
But now he is a potential hero for the world now, this brave doctor himself succumbed to the dreaded pestilence after contracting it. His death has put up a lot of questions as to why was he silenced and has China committed the heinous crime of covering up a new disease outbreak. This highlights the fact that China is definitely hiding something.
Joining the Chorus
It is pretty high time that countries put aside their petty geopolitical and economic frictions to demand accountability from China. While it is easier said than done, India can lead the way forward. It must immediately form under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO) a team of eminent “non-partisan” medical experts, diplomats and journalists who can spearhead the initiative to bring out the truth about the Covid-19 pandemic origins. While the legitimacy of the WHO to spearhead such an initiative has been put into question by its pro-China bias, it still remains the most important institution to lead such an initiative. The team must however comprise of representatives from democratic countries and not from autocratic countries which are firmly under Chinese influence. Perhaps a team comprising of people from D-10 countries can come in handy.
India should shed its silence and become more vocal about asking China to speak freely about what it is hiding regarding the virus. Since relations with China have drifted southward hence demanding the origin of the Covid-19 virus could emerge as a novel process of undermining the influence and sway of the dragon in the world. India should also in the process lobby for making Taiwan a member of the WHO which will play a key role in pressurizing Beijing to ensure that they comply with the directions of the global body without attempting to stifle independent voices which become vocal in order to provide succor to the global populace dealing with a crisis of gargantuan magnitude. People of the world have a right to know where from the virus has emerged from.
For far too long China has evaded responsibility for the pandemic. It is time that the world unites to teach China a lesson for its recalcitrance which has brought the human race to the brink of extinction.
-The writer is currently working as a Trainee Research Associate at Defence Research and Studies (dras.in) and is a columnist. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda