Since Coronavirus has become a pandemic it has created all sorts of inconvenience to almost everyone. While some of us are trying to dodge the virus in the best possible way, there are some people who are at the frontline to help others fight it.

There are people who have been put in isolation wards for 14 days or more and we have absolutely no experience of what are the conditions of these wards and how are people who just cannot afford to stay back home dealing with it. Hence some of these people have started petitions to make the government accountable to these people and the least we can do is, sign them.  

1. Make COVID-19 Testing Free for Senior Citizens & Subsidised for All #PatientsBeforeProfits

The petition is started by Hamraj Singh, addressed to Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Currently there are less than 130 labs in India for COVID-19 sample testing. The government had announced that they will allow private labs to test for the deadly virus. But the price cap for testing in private labs is Rs. 4500 for one person.

This is completely unaffordable even for India’s middle class. If one person shows symptoms, all members of the family need to be tested and at these rates, the COVID-19 test is beyond one’s reach. We have taken proactive measures to lockdown and ban non-essential travel but we will fail if we miss out on the most crucial part, which is making these tests accessible for all Indians.

2. Medical professionals need protection and gear to fight Covid 19

The petition started by Asit Khanna is addressed to the Prime Minister and the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. We all know that doctors and medical professionals are at the frontline of fighting with Covid-19 and they are the ones we need to protect the most.

India has an inadequate number of doctors, beds, devices, PPE ( personal protection Equipments), wards, hospitals, safety checks and balances, reporting and quarantine facilities, medical enforcement and safety measures to protect the protectors. Expenditure of healthcare in India is one of the lowest in the world. It’s very important for our government and lawmakers to take steps to protect them because if they don’t start revamping it now then we are surely doomed. We urge our political masters to improve the health or our healthcare.

3. Provide Food and Safe Transport to Stranded Migrants during COVID-19 Lockdown 

The petition started by Shirin Shabana addresses PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, all of India is struggling for normalcy in this 21-day lockdown but the ones who are the hardest hit are the migrant labourers, who work in big cities as daily wagers. The lockdown means they’re out of work for the next 3 weeks without any income which means no food as well.

Unable to find any transportation, hungry stomachs, lakhs of them with children began heading back to their villages within and across state borders on foot. All they want is to get back safely to their homes in their village but under these circumstances where they don’t have anything to eat and constantly need to be on foot, it seems quite difficult that they’ll be able to reach safely. Hence, it’s important for us to sign this and make things better for them.

4. Make it a priority to improve the hygiene condition of quarantine centers 

A petition to Dr Harsh Vardhan again, started by Rhea Bhalla, seems to be a very important one. She urged people to sign her petition by sharing her personal experience in one of these quarantine centres in India. After coming back to Delhi from Spain, she was asked to be quarantined at a government centre for at least 24 hours, so that the tests could be done. What happened next was her worst nightmare.

They were taken to the centers in dusty buses and despite begging 20 people got 5 glasses of water. Reaching the centres, they were given the shock of their lives with dilapidated rooms and broken toilets without any water. For almost ten hours, they didn’t have food to eat or water to drink.

“The wash basins had paan stains on them, the washrooms seemed like they had not been washed in days. I was scared of contracting other infections just by touching things around me.” Considering the increasing number of Covid-19 affected cases, there soon might be a time when one of our acquaintances might end up in one such quarantine center. Hence, it is of utmost importance to urge the government to make these centres better.

5. Don’t waste money on redeveloping Central Delhi, divert funds to fighting COVID-19 

LokPATH India started this petition to Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India). The Government of India has proposed the redevelopment of the Central Vista Precinct in New Delhi and is proceeding with the project as reflected in the Gazette notification of 20-03-2020 on change of land use entailed by the project.

While its cost is yet to be placed in the public domain and subjected to public consultation, but media reports of the project cost have mentioned numbers ranging from Rs. 12,000 crores to Rs. 25,000 crores. Currently the pandemic in India is at a stage where almost all the essentials might get exhausted and what we need is allocating as much funds as possible to the healthcare sector.