HAS DEMOCRACY FAILED TO COPE UP WITH COVID-19?

BY-SAMAIRA GULERIA

The deliverable is not how many people clanged pots and pans or how many obediently followed Honorable PM Narendar Modi’s advice of staying indoors. The deliverable is how many people got tested, how many doctors have protective gear, how many ventilators the government managed to manufacture or buy overnight.



It is important to note that countries that have so far done a relatively good job of containing the corona virus pandemic have refrained from imposing a complete, nation-wide, curfew-like lock-down. These include the non-democratic countries like North Korea and China where it all started, placed only the Hubei province under complete lock-down, not the whole country.

NOW THE QUESTION ARISES THAT “CAN DICTATORSHIP BETTER CONTROL COVID-19?”

The answer is Yes. On March 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan and officially declared that the COVID-19 outbreak had been “basically curbed.” He said China had succeeded in stabilizing the situation and “turning the tide,” and stated, “Now what you must do is fortify your faith. We will win this battle.”

The following day, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that “nobody ever thought (it) would be a problem.” He even stated on March 15 that COVID-19 is “something that we have tremendous control of.” Now more than 140,000 people have been infected in the United States and 2,400 have died.

What a nation truly needs in fighting a deadly virus like COVID-19 is a strong and spontaneous decision making. If people feel themselves to be part of one nation, then they will obey and trust their leaders. In this sense, a dictatorship is more effective in resolving a pandemic in the long run.

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