Opinion: By playing hot potato with the pandemic, our politicians are saving face instead of lives

The CCSA has stated that it would consider lockdown measures if proposed by the Ministry of Public Health. But later the deputy minister of public health came out to say that the decision should be made directly by the prime minister.

This game of passing the hot potato of responsibility by various government agencies responsible for handling the pandemic shows that they care more about “face” politics than the lives of the people.

This adds to the plethora of mixed messages that people have been getting since the pandemic began.

When it comes to things that could gain face for the agencies, they swarm over it like vultures or hyenas over carrion. When something difficult comes along that might result in losing face, such as a full lockdown, everyone plays hot potato on who will take the blame.

Because of the various mismanagement of the pandemic, let it be lack of beds, vaccines shortages, and record infection and death rates, now that the hard decision of lockdown is on the table, no one wants to take responsibility for its impact.

The CSSA statement that they would consider lockdown measures if proposed by the health ministry shows that they are trying to deflect responsibility away from themselves.

Is the CCSA not the main taskforce to make key decisions related to the pandemic? If they are the key decision makers, why do they need to wait for the health ministry’s proposal? Can they not make this decision on their own?

It might seem understandable to pass this hot potato to the prime minister, since he is the head of the CCSA, but it still does not explain why they tried to pass it to the Health Ministry.

But with the dire state that the country is in, with the health care system on the verge of collapse amid a vaccines shortage, if hard decisions need to be made then the CCSA needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility, and not deflect i. 

This is not a call in favour lockdown, as I sympathize with the people who labour for daily wages and whose income would surely be hurt. This is a call for accountability from those in power to stop with the face politics and take charge, and be accountable for the results that follow, because it is costing lives.

The only question that is left to asked is, are those in power accountable for their actions?


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