India has always been in the spotlight as a country that has recovered slightly from the Coronavirus pandemic. By the end of the year, between 15,000 and 20,000 new cases were recorded daily in the world’s second most populous country with a population of over 1.3 billion.
Now the situation is the opposite. India is the engine of the infection and in recent weeks it has been difficult to keep up with developments. During the Easter holidays, 80,000 new cases are alerted daily. A week later, the number was just over 150,000. The level now approaches 300,000 cases recorded per day. In addition, the dark figure is colossal, as test capacity is weak or absent in many areas in rural areas.
what happened? Experts in India explain the massive increase in the number of people ignoring compliance with the restrictions, while several state elections, cricket matches and a major Hindu festival have brought together tens of millions of people. Virus mutations can also affect development. The rapidly expanding British variant is becoming more and more widespread The new Indian variant with double mutations They have been discovered in at least five states.
State epidemiologist Previously, Anders Tegnell told DN Similar drastic increases occurred in many countries during the pandemic, and it is rarely possible to indicate any real cause.
The infection spread is currently greater In the capital, New Delhi, with around 25,000 new cases per day. There are reports of lack of oxygen and prices of vulgar drugs on the black market. When there were only about 100 vacant hospital beds in a city of about 20 million people, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal decided Monday to extend the lockdown and curfew for the rest of the week.
If we do not face a lockdown now, we will face a major disaster, he says according to Indian media.
Also, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and many other major cities imposed curfews and tightened restrictions on several tours. The measures led migrant workers, who worked as day laborers in factories and construction sites in major cities, to return to their home villages. In both Delhi and Bombay, queues are long at bus and train stations.
The same thing happened last springWhen around 80 million people began to return home, many of them were on foot and during extreme hardship. Then, as now, the authorities were taken to bed. There is no possibility to test or isolate the influx of people now coming to poor states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and there is a risk that the infection could spread rapidly to new places.
– Too many people (leaving the big cities) have made us unbalanced, Srinath Reddy says, President of the Public Health Foundation of India for the New York Times.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi His Hindu nationalist government was criticized for not being prepared for the second wave. Now they are trying to speed up the vaccination campaign to improve the situation. On Monday, news came from New Delhi that in May vaccination became free for everyone from the age of 18. The government is also providing more financial support to increase vaccine production.
India vaccinates just over three million people daily, and 124 million people have received at least one vaccine dose. An epidemiologist tells the BBC Bahramar Mukherjee That there are very few. To keep up with the spread of infection, more than ten million people need to be vaccinated every day.
I am frustrated that India did not increase the vaccination rate when the infection prevalence curve was low. It is much easier to get vaccinations when many people are not sick. Now the capacity for care has been torn between vaccinations and coronary artery care.
In India, two vaccines have been approved – Covaxi from Indian company Bharat Biotech and Astra Zeneca vaccine, licensed in India by the Serum Institute in Pune under the name Covishield.
The plant, located in Pune, Maharashtra state, is expected to produce 1.5 billion doses of vaccine this year. The serum institute has so far sold 64 million doses to 85 countries during the pandemic, but for a month or so, India has basically halted all exports. The vaccine made in India should mainly go to local needs.
The Serum Institute, in turn, warned that the United States had stopped exporting chemicals, hoses, filters and spare parts needed for production. The owner of the company, Adar Bunawala, on Friday called on US President Joe Biden to resume exporting raw materials to show the world is united in the fight against the Corona virus. The Serum Institute had expected to produce 100 million doses per month as of March, but that goal has now moved to summer.
The past weeks Several countries have suspended air traffic to India due to the further spread of infection. Monday, news came that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would cancel his planned visit to India next week
India has around 15 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. According to the Johns Hopkins University compilation. Only the United States has more cases of corona recorded. Just under 180,000 people died. The increase in deaths is not as large as the number of injured. This can be partly explained by the fact that the country has a very small population, with more than half of them under the age of 25.