About 1 in 3 cases of COVID-19 recorded each day in the world are now in India, where the rate of new infections is growing faster than any other country.
The second wave of COVID-19 infections in India has completely overshadowed the country’s medical infrastructure as families make desperate appeals for oxygen and other life-saving supplies on social media.
In the capital, New Delhi, morgues are used Mass cremation To dispose of the corpses of COVID victims. In some hospitals, patients wait outside in ambulances due to a shortage of ventilators inside.
Volunteers were also coming forward to help with supply issues, including the India cares, A community of more than 3,000 people using social media to obtain everything from blood donors to oxygen and medication.
Muhammad Saqib, a 23-year-old student who recently joined the organization, told BuzzFeed News that requests for help are increasing every day.
“We lose our Indian family every day,” Saqib said. When a person [makes a] He asked, and after a while we know that the same person is no longer there, this moment is the worst. “
at urgent meeting Officials, headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have agreed to divert oxygen intended for industrial purposes to meet immediate medical needs and to use the country’s transportation networks to get supplies more quickly to countries where they are most needed.
Modi also called on countries to take stronger action on the potential hoarding of supplies.
India escaped the worst of COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic. Although the nation ranks fourth in the world The official global death tollAfter the United States, Brazil and Mexico, the death rate was low compared to its population of nearly 1.4 billion. As India enters 2021, the disease appeared to be under control, with cases and deaths falling from their peak in September.
But since March, the nation has seen an explosion of infections, suspected of being caused by a new type of coronavirus called B.1.617. The Indian National Institute of Virology reports that this alternative has been taken Pioneer in the transmission, appears in About 61% of the tested cases In one district last week. It is sometimes called the “double mutagen” variant because it contains two mutations that are associated with an increase in infection; Its role in the outbreak of India Remains unclear Because of the limited clinical testing for the variants there.
Now one in every three cases of COVID-19 is recorded every day worldwide in India, and the rate of new infections is increasing faster than in any other country. About 2,000 COVID-related deaths are recorded there every day, nearly one-sixth of the global total. But the Analysis by Financial Times Based on cremation records indicate that many people who die from COVID-19 in India are not counted in the official statistics.
As the healthcare system teetered on the brink of collapse, Giridhar R. Babu, an epidemiologist from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), concludes that this “will not be the last wave and not the last epidemic either.”
In an interview with Domestic averageBabu said the current situation in India should be a cause of global concern.
“If disease control is neglected in some parts of the world, every other part is at risk of importing the infection,” Babu said. “We need to conduct a rigorous and rigorous review of the COVID situation in the country while expanding vaccine coverage.
Strong public health leadership and resources must be available to build resident systems, including strengthening epidemiological and genomic surveillance of COVID-19 to detect outbreaks. It is unrealistic to expect tangible gains without a strong focus on strengthening the health system, particularly not promoting human resource recruitment and capacity building. “
The situation in India has been partly blamed on the government, with critics, including the head of PHFI, Accuse The Modi administration prematurely declared victory over the virus while efforts should have been made to strengthen the country’s medical infrastructure.
Instead, the Indian electoral authorities announced The main election In five states, the nation’s cricket board has given the green light for an international match with a stadium full of spectators, and a Hindu festival. Kumbh Mela Bring millions to Haridwar for the holy occasion.
India’s escalating COVID-19 crisis is also very bad news for the global effort to vaccinate people against the coronavirus. The Serum Institute of India in Pune is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world with a mission Made 200 million initial doses A version of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine for COVAX, a collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, aims to provide affordable vaccines to developing countries in the world.
But the introduction of the local vaccine in India has encountered difficulties. With only 1.4% of the population He is currently fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In late March, India has temporarily halted vaccine exports To divert AstraZeneca vaccine supplies into its vaccination campaign.
The serum institute of India also has it I signed a deal To produce about one billion doses of a vaccine for the Coronavirus, it was developed by the US company Novavax as soon as it gets approval. So more pressure to use the nation’s vaccine-making capacity to bolster its faltering program will have spillover effects around the world. India He also argued US export controls on the raw materials used to make vaccines will hamper their ability to meet global demand.
The United States is also under pressure to donate About 20 million doses AstraZeneca vaccines are not used and have not been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. AstraZeneca said it will soon 30 million American doses Ready, though in the United States Agree to send 4 million doses were to Canada and Mexico in March. Asked about the AstraZeneca inventory donation, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zentes said Friday that the United States will “explore options” to ship excess vaccines overseas “as we increase confidence in our supplies.” He referred to President Joe Biden Pledge of $ 4 billion To COVAX in February as an indication of the state’s support for global vaccination.
Meanwhile, the CDC is consulting with Indian health officials and providing technical assistance, said Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He said, “It is a painful situation that we are trying to help in any way possible.” “It is clear that they need to vaccinate their own people.”