Weeks after criticising the Narendra Modi-led government’s handling of the pandemic, senior virologist Shahid Jameel has resigned as chairman of a forum of scientific advisers set up by the government last year.
The scientific advisory group of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing Consortia (INSACOG) was set up for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance of mutating strains of COVID-19 in the country.
“It's correct and I shall have nothing more to say. I am not obliged to give a reason,” Jameel said in a text message to news agency Reuters, adding that he quit on Friday.
‘Human Cost Will Leave Permanent Scar’
Recently, he had written a piece in The New York Times, where he highlighted how scientists in India were receiving a “stubborn response to evidence-based policymaking.”
Jameel said that lower testing, slow pace of vaccination, vaccine shortage and the need for a bigger healthcare workforce were some of the biggest shortcomings in the government’s handling of the pandemic.
“Decision-making based on data is yet another casualty, as the pandemic in India has spun out of control. The human cost we are enduring will leave a permanent scar,” he wrote.
(With inputs from Reuters, NDTV, The New York Times)
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