As the rest of the world sees a decline, India’s COVID-19 cases are sadly surging. The country faces its most catastrophic wave of the virus, and it recently set the world record for the most cases in a day— with 400,000 on Saturday, and more than 390,000 on Sunday. It marks India’s 11th straight day with more than 300,000 cases, as reported by NYMag.
This has sparked India’s Supreme Court, local politicians, and even the president of the confederation of Indian Industry to demand another lockdown. Though many in India are concerned with the economic backlash of going on lockdown, the number of daily deaths has become a national crisis.
International aid arrives in India
Countries all around the world, are all rallying together to send support to India. The United States, Russia, and Great Britain have all sent medical supplies, generators for oxygen machines, N95 face masks, and even vaccine vials.
British doctors have also been offering digital teleconferences in India for non-COVID cases in hopes, the doctors in India can strictly focus on Covid-19 patients. France, Germany, and the UK also sent supplies, including oxygen generators and ventilators.
Social media has also played a part in getting India the supplies and assistance needed. GoFundMe’s, non-profit organizations, and Indian-American citizens have been collecting funds, oxygen cylinders, medicines, and even hospital beds to accommodate the shortages of supplies as India’s COVID-19 cases hit a record high.
As cases multiply by the second, Adar Poonawalla, Serum Institute’s CEO and India’s vaccine expert, had to flee to the UK with his family after receiving threats from government officials. Many see his statements in an interview with the Financial Times as the direct reason only 2 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated. Poonawalla blames the country’s crisis on the local government and their lack of vaccine supplies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also under scrutiny as it is believed he tried to get back to normal, too prematurely.
The local government has since announced the closing of over 100 vaccination centers, which they hope will only last through the week as aid pours in from all around the globe. Only 26.7 million people out of India’s 1.4 billion population, has been fully vaccinated, as of the end of the week.
Globally over 152 million doses have been administered and cases are starting to decline at a rapid rate. Local citizens and residents who have made vaccination appointments have been told to not show up as there is no supply left.
The healthcare crisis in India is not new, local citizens and residents have battled for decent healthcare for decades. In recent reports over 90% of the low and middle class don’t have any form of health insurance. Most medical procedures are paid for out of pocket or collected as further debt. A 2017 study by the Public Health Foundation of India found that health expenses were “responsible for driving 55 million Indians into poverty.”
As a result, many nations around the world have implemented a travel ban to or from India. Among these nations are the United States, The UK, Canada, Australia, and The United Arab Emirates. They restricted travel in order to prevent any further spread of the virus or itsvariants. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office of India, nearly 1.5 million full-time residents of India visit the US alone yearly.