Top five things you should know about how alarming India’s COVID-19 situation is

All eyes are now on India as the world continues to battle COVID-19.  This country with a population of 1.4 billion is taking a hit from the second wave which, according to many experts, has exponentially increased the past days. So overwhelmed are hospitals that those who can’t get a hospital bed or breathing aid are being likened to “fish out of water.  So here are the top five things you should know about how alarming India’s COVID-19 situation is         

Free Optimistic young Indian couple staying at home during quarantine Stock Photo                                 

1) Cases began creeping upward in early March, but accelerated rapidly.

The number of daily cases by the end of the month had jumped six times higher than at the start of the month. India now has the most number of COVID cases globally with Brazil and the U.S. Among India’s hardest hit states are New Delhi, Maharashtra and Mumbai, which is India’s financial capital.

2) India’s current COVID-19 crisis is expected to get worse.

Dr. Giridhara R. Babu of the Public Health Foundation of India said “I’m afraid this is not the peak. The kind of data that we see, (we are) at least two to three weeks away from the peak.” According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washdington , some 200,000 more people are expected to die from Covid-19 in India over the next three weeks before the daily death toll starts to fall.

3)  The second wave hit so much harder because people became lax.

After the first wave peaked in September 2020, daily cases declined steadily in the following months, prompting the country’s health minister to declare in early March that they were “in the endgame” of the pandemic. So, residents relaxed Covid-safe practices like social distancing, and authorities were looser in their enforcement . This led to people coming together for  gatherings like the week-long Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival where thousands of devout Hindus gathered by the Ganges river in the northern city of Haridwar to bath together believing that it will wash away their sins. Then there are the crowded campaign rallies for state elections.

4) Though current Covid patients span nearly every age group, this second wave appears to be infecting young people more than before, experts say.

“The virus and its second wave is hitting the younger people, and even children, in a way it had not its first wave,” said Barkha Dutt, an author and journalist based in New Delhi.

5) India is in desperate need of supplies, particularly oxygen.

It is said that  healthcare facilities usually consume about 15% of oxygen supply in India, leaving the rest for industrial use. But now, nearly 90% of the country’s oxygen supply or 7,500 metric tonnes daily – is being used for medical use. Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pleaded for oxygen supplies on live TV and even suggested that the country’s oxygen plants should immediately be taken over by the government through the army. As for their vaccine program, India is now vaccinating 3.6 million people on average daily. So far,  It has so far administered more than 103 million shots- which is less than 6% of India’s population of nearly 1.4 billion people.



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