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Centre should not give too positive a spin on COVID-19 vaccine

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New Delhi, Sep 26: The central government has been accused by The Lancet medical journal of putting a "too positive spin" on the Covid-19 situation in India.

Centre should not give too positive a spin on COVID-19 vaccine

The journal has warned India as this representation can hamper public health initiatives.

The Lancet also asked Indian leaders to respect "scientific evidence...and not provide false optimism."

It added, "Failing to honestly report negative news creates uncertainty among the public and health-care professionals."

The medical journal also has slammed ICMR saying, "The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been singled out by experts for straying from scientific evidence, appearing at worst politically motivated and at best overly optimistic."

It said that perpetuating unrealistic claims or failing to honestly report negative news creates uncertainty among the public and healthcare professionals, discouraging people from taking preventive action or taking public health messages seriously.

"... Presenting the current situation in India with a too positive spin not only clouds reality but also hampers vital public health initiatives. Perpetuating unrealistic claims or failing to honestly report negative news creates uncertainty among the public and healthcare professionals, discouraging people from taking preventive action or taking public health messages seriously," the editorial says.

"India has the expertise in medicine, public health, research, and manufacturing to lead the nation through the Covid-19 pandemic. To capitalise on these attributes, the country's leaders must respect scientific evidence, expert commentary, and academic freedom, and not provide false optimism," it adds.

It has also pointed towards issues with Covid numbers. "Transparency of the data on Covid-19 cases and deaths, especially those underpinning the case fatality rate, has also been questioned, as detailed in a recent World Report. The Indian Government reports a case fatality rate of 1.8%, much lower than the reported rate in other countries, but it is difficult to know if the numbers are comparable," said Lancet.

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