If ‘Transparency’ is an alien concept?

If ‘Transparency’ is an alien concept?

Written By: / Editorial / Friday, 03 July 2020 18:18

A one-line statement incorporated with the updated report of COVID-19 cases issued yesterday by the state health department, it is stated that the Health Department has maintained complete transparency on the important facts related to COVID-19 pandemic and the department also re-iterated that there is no concealment of or intention to conceal facts from the public or media.
If this statement from the state health department is related to yesterday’s editorial of this newspaper, it is very unfortunate that the authorities in the state health department have failed to understand what actually was this paper revealing about. There are certain reports of the health department authority holding back reports of samples that were tested and releasing only some at both the VRDL, for reason known the authority. However, such holding back of tested samples instead of letting the people knew about it, as they are anxiously waiting for it, people, particularly the media have reason to believe some false play as details of why such reports are withheld.
Well, as per source the health department authority could announce the result of the tested sample hours before the publication of the evening newspapers as it was earlier done. Remember, the result was announced at 11 am and later at 7 pm a day some days back. Now , as the department has stopped sending out press statements containing the updated report of COVID-19 cases, evening newspaper which has been equally delivering service by joining the war against the COVID pandemic have been left unaccountable.
Well, the announcement of the number of COVID-19 positive cases is not only what is required for the public to know. Announcing the numbers and concealing the facts on how the department is taking up in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be simply coined as ‘Transparency’ unless and until it is an alien concept.
It is known to every persons, forget about those working with the media, that simply releasing the number and mentioning nothing about who are those persons affected and how they have been contacted with the virus is not what we usually understand by the concept ‘Transparency’.
Other than releasing some notes containing the number of people affected by the virus and people who have been recovered, had the state health authority ever convened a press conference or interaction program with the media persons. Had there been any press briefing regarding the development which perhaps should be conducted on daily basis mandatorily.
The manpower utilized for COVID care centers and the amount spend in treatment of those either symptomatic or asymptomatic, has been kept in secret and the Health Dept. said they are maintaining transparency.

 

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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