EDITORIAL: Coronavirus cannot be politicised

Politicisation of Coronavirus disease has as high prices to pay as more “body bags”

Politics is in everyone’s life but it doesn’t have to be every time and in every issue, especially the issue of life and death like Coronavirus.

As the government has decided to curb the spread of the virus that first attacked the country in early January_by restricting people’s moves considered as powerful transmission means of the Coronavirus disease, a number of measures have since been introduced, including a strong and provocative curfew seen as the hard-hitting measure against human rights.

Given its common characteristics, the curfew is ideal to be subject to strong criticism from pro-Democracy supporters.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha seems to realise the point as he keeps addressing it by saying how critical the situation is and why strong measures are needed, including the curfew.

On a televised pool program where he introduced the curfew last Friday, he made it clear right away that “public health comes before freedom”.

And since, measures and implementations that follow have been provided with a clear directive.

But on the other hand, this has also drawn “attraction” and attacks from pro-Democracy supporters.

The issue has escalated when the government’s Coronavirus Situation Control Center’s spokesperson, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin was rebuked by some pro-Democracy supporters and the media members following his daily briefings that they view as being too much in favor of the PM.

However, there is a danger in politicising the issue concerning critical public health like Coronavirus.

Because it is very new and unprecedented to the world that there are no treatments in place to cure it yet, it can kill any one regardless of their races, social statuses, or any differences, and the best approach that the global public health organisation, World Health Organization, has recommended is solidarity in all levels to help one another to tackle the disease.

Every minute that passes by can mean more bodies of deaths and body bags, and by playing politics with the issue would therefore do more harm than good to the much needed solidarity aforementioned, pushing societies into a polarising state and tearing them apart with differences and distrust.

Beyond that is love and kindness that the organisation keeps asking members of societies every where in the world to nurture and hold onto_the most precious value that people can have now to help one another get through this hard time together.

At the press conference this week, the WHO chief Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stepped out to respond against strong criticism made by US President Donald Trump, urging him to not politicise the situation after being slammed by the President as “China-centric”.

In spite of being tremendously critical, the disease has proved that it can be politicised any time if not being mindful.

As someone who cherishes Democracy or the media members who are in favor of freedom and liberty, there is nothing wrong to be skeptical and ask questions against those in power to keep them in check.

That is absolutely different from being cynical and politicising the issue that cannot be and should not be politicised.

And that can be started with constructive points of view and questions like; how effective are these measures? are we on track? Or even whether they have undermined the rule of law to the point that have shaken our political fundamentals and beliefs and cannot be further compromised?

Just be constructive and be mindful, in time of life and death.