“It can be said with pride, India … defeated COVID-19 under the able, sensible, committed and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi … introducing India to the world as a proud and victorious nation in the fight against COVID”.
These are the words of India’s current ruling party, Bharatiya Janata. Having only being announced only a few weeks ago. However, this is not the present case, with the worst of the second waves hitting India in early February.
In the last week, India has seen more COVID cases than any other country and the COVID wards have described to be like a scene from Dante’s inferno, with the official death toll of known cases exceeding 200,000. However, due to the severity of the crisis, it is estimated to be ten times worse than as reported in certain areas; the lack of tests posing a key factor. The slums are proving to serve as virus hotbeds, and is extremely likely that they have seen thousands of additional deaths and cases, that have not been reported.
Correlating with extreme numbers of COVID cases is the lack of resources the virus has presented. As pictured above, many hospitals are turning away patients due to the nationwide emergency regarding the lack oxygen supplies. In the capital of New Delhi, relatives of patients have been lining up outside oxygen refiling centers, in the hope of making it back in time for their relatives, who are rapidly declining in health.
Hospitals throughout the country are also struggling to accommodate those suffering from the effects of the virus, with many people queued in ambulances, waiting to be admitted into the hospitals. Private hospitals have also been entirely filled with COVID patients, with vulnerable people travelling across West Bengal to Kolkata (over 100 miles away), due to the lack of proper treatment from the Indian government.
India previously believed that they were ‘victorious in the fight against COVID’, they exported vaccines to countries that were in need. Due to the recent circumstances, India is in great demand of vaccines, with only 26 million people having been fully vaccinated, and 124 million have only received a single dose, out of their 1.4 billion population. The vaccine stocks within the country have also nearly dried up, and with no clarity on when more will arrive, it is proving to be a fearsome time for the country.
The famous Indian Premier league (IPL), has also been postponed due to the countries current climate. This occurred following the multiple recent positive tests, including those of Chakravarthy and Warrier, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), during their third round of COVID testing. The BCCI (The Board of Control for Cricket in India) stated that they wish to move the tournament to Mumbai, due to the positive COVID cases within the Ahmedabad and Delhi venues, hoping to start hosting matches from the weekend.
However, why postponed and not cancelled?
What about the hundreds of thousands of people dying throughout the country?