A relative wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) attends the funeral of his family member who died on April 26 in Covid at one of the largest cremation sites in New Delhi. (Seemapuri Cremation Ground / File-Amit Sharma) NEW-DELHI, India, May 11th (IPS) – Coronavirus infections and deaths in India hit a daily high of 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths as of May 10th on Monday, May 10th Indians reported Health Ministry, India’s total at 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths. Experts have hoisted a flag saying India’s actual numbers could be well above the numbers currently reported.
The increase in the number of cases was exponential in the second wave and was largely attributed to variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK, as well as a native variant called B.1.617 with double mutations. The World Health Organization has classified variant B.1.617 as a variant of global importance. Some preliminary studies have shown it to spread more easily.
The reopening of public spaces, overcrowded election campaigns and large religious gatherings are blamed for the increase. The National Vice President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr. Navjot Dahiya, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “super spreader” and blamed him for the second wave of COVID-19. In his interview with an English newspaper, Dr. Dahiya: “As the medical fraternity strives to get people to understand mandatory Covid norms, PM Modi did not hesitate to address the major political rallies that blew all Covid norms in the air.” While the rallies were later converted into “virtual rallies,” people were still encouraged to watch and participate in these large-scale virtual rallies.
On May 3, people refill medical oxygen bottles for Covid patients at an advanced gas station in an industrial area in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. (Oxygen Refilling Center, Agra-File-Amit Sharma) India, one of the largest economies in the world, spends only 1% of its GDP on health care, making it even more difficult for public health systems to survive the burden of this pandemic. What’s worse is a time when the government should have focused all of its time, energy and effort on managing and organizing a pandemic response. Prime Minister Modi decided to give priority to elections. The government turned away and ignored any helpless citizens who were dying on the streets, outside hospitals, in makeshift ambulances and homes, gasping for oxygen, drugs or any form of medical aid. From the time one is infected with Covid-19 to the time of death and cremation, there is no dignity. Corpses of suspected Covid patients are now found floating and washed up on the banks of the Ganga in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This report from NDTV states: “Since there are no Covid protocols in rural crematoriums and the locals are afraid of the infection spreading further, the families were forced to send the bodies in the river.”
These are not just reports and pictures, but lived experiences of hundreds and thousands of Indian citizens who have suffered and seen their family members and loved ones suffer from this ignorance that could easily have been prevented if this pandemic had only been one Priority for the top brass players who rule the country.
A local cemetery working on site collecting logs for pyre to perform final rites for patients who died of Covid on April 29th at Ghazipur cremation site in New Delhi. (Ghazipur Cremation Ground / File-Amit Sharma) At a time when most Indian cities are running out of hospital beds, oxygen supplies and medicines, and crematoriums are running day and night in several cities in the country and people have to wait for hours when the deceased is cremated or buried, the government should pause and consider what this outbreak is doing to the country. Worldwide support has increased and several countries have shipped oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other medical equipment for Indians. However, spending $ 1.8 billion to rebuild the capital’s historic center amid a pandemic also underscores the current government’s priorities.
The second wave in India robbed all Indians of the dignity and respect that a state should have given its citizens even more in a time of global crisis because they were democratically elected not once but twice. It would have been easier to call out this government’s failure if it had at least tried to prevent the second wave, but the top leaders were preoccupied with campaigning and encouraging mass religious gatherings that we have yet to endure repatriation. BBC reports, “Kumbh Mela pilgrims are turning into super spreaders saying,” It’s disastrous. “Covid cases continue to rise sharply in West Bengal, a state that recently held elections.
A local priest and relative of a family member who died of Covid and saw a pyre burned on May 4th at Garh Ganga Ghat in Mukteshwar, Uttar Pradesh. (Mukteshwar, Hapur / File-Amit Sharma) It is now the volunteers who have worked to save lives, and social media has become a life-saving tool for finding oxygen and medical care. Strangers do everything to help each other and do everything to keep a person they may not even know alive. This should not have been the case. Amid such reports, there are also reports from Uttar Pradesh state in which Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to take action under the National Security Law and to confiscate the property of those who spread “rumors” and propaganda on social media and trying to “spoil the atmosphere” as reported by The Hindu.
All adults in India can now be vaccinated. However, the vaccination campaign for over 18s was hampered by vaccine shortages and technical issues as several users were unable to register on the website or make an appointment. Some states say they don’t have the doses to perform the exercise.
A health worker with personal protective equipment (PPE) and his relatives collect a swab sample from a person on the floor at a district hospital in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, on May 3. (Covid tests in Agra / File-Amit Sharma) In early January, Prime Minister Modi declared India one of the countries that had successfully controlled the corona virus. While speaking virtually in front of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue on January 28, 2021, PM Modi said, “India took a proactive approach of public participation and developed a COVID-specific health infrastructure and trained its resources to fight Covid.” The exaggeration and early declaration of the government’s success was a self-fulfilling prophecy that proved disastrous just weeks later. After all, “Pyrenees are telling the truth” and India’s complaint media can only do so much to blame “the opposition, liberals, Muslims, activists, leftists, protesters, NGOs and other” anti-nationalists “.
“Power of positivity” is the “positivity” of Covid-19 virus infection during a pandemic, when the country battles a “variant of global concern” without a robust health system and pandemic management contrary to mere mortals sees no religion , no caste, not even votes or voting banks, it just takes a virus particle, a spherical shell that protects a single long chain of genetic material, inserts it into a human cell – to ultimately only kill the body it ends up infecting.
Instead of asking citizens to be positive as most are already doing with Covid-19, the government should only focus on restoring the dignity of its citizens in India and it will take a lot of effort to combat “positivity” in the air. Health experts have already warned that a third wave of Covid is inevitable in India. With a health system already collapsed and depleted, and an aggressive variant rapidly spreading across the country, the government has very little time to fix these rifts if it values the lives of its citizens.
Follow @IPSNewsUNBureauFollow the IPS New UN Bureau on Instagram
(2021) – All rights reserved