A little over five months ago, this South Asian country believed that it had successfully dealt with the Coronavirus, and that the worst was behind it. However, all of this turned out to be wrong, as a second, more deadly wave is currently sweeping the country, characterized by an accelerating increase in the number of cases and the death rate. In the last week, India recorded more than 2 million cases of Covid-19, the highest in the world. As a result, the country’s health infrastructure is almost collapsing at a time when both government and private hospitals in the country have declared severe shortages of oxygen, medicine and beds.
The capital, Delhi, is one of the cities hardest hit in terms of the number of infections, with the most deadly outbreak and the fastest infection. Numerous stories about the grueling and desperate searches of beds, oxygen, ventilators, and exhausted health workers across town, the figures for the daily increase in the number of cases and the death rate … have made panic take over. Many victims who have positive symptoms respond by hospitals due to lack of beds and lack of oxygen and are advised to focus on treatment at home. Fearing that they might infect their family members at home, many victims opt to stay in their vehicles on the side of the road, and the lucky ones are able to purchase oxygen cylinders at exorbitant prices from greedy sellers and their agents who take advantage of the situation.
This latest deadly wave is claiming the lives of many, amid reports of extremely long waiting times at cremation sites. However, the death statistics that are attributed to “Corona” and are announced only relate to those dying in hospitals, and do not include those who die in their homes or in the streets due to the lack of hospital beds and lack of oxygen. This second wave disrupted the story of India’s recovery. There is no doubt that one of the main reasons for the rise in “Covid-19” cases is slackness and failure to follow appropriate protection rules on the part of people, but the most important reason is mismanagement and the reckless approach of health administrative bodies and others. The Indian Electoral Commission is blamed for announcing elections in five Indian states, in which tens of thousands of people were brought in to attend mass rallies by nearly all political parties. In those large gatherings, no rules were respected regarding protection from “Covid-19”, and physical distancing was completely ignored. In addition, the celebration of the “Kumbh” complex, a religious gathering that takes place once every 12 years, went ahead as planned in the Hindu holy city of Hari Dwar and attracted millions of religious people as the authorities struggled to enforce respect for safety measures.
With the dramatic rise in cases of coronavirus infection, and the severe pressure that this causes on medical resources such as oxygen, which is in great shortage, many cities, such as Delhi and Mumbai, have imposed comprehensive closures. Although politicians and administrators are struggling to control the outbreak of the deadly virus, the damage is done. Friends of India and its strategic partners, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are quick to provide all possible assistance and support to the Indian authorities in order to save the situation. In this regard, 80 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen arrived in India from Saudi Arabia, while another 5,000 medical oxygen cylinders are expected to arrive in order to alleviate the situation. For its part, the UAE sent oxygen tanks, oxygen generators, and a massive shipment of oxygen condensers. Likewise, Kuwait has sent oxygen cylinders, ethanol packages, and relief items.
The United States, which had suspended the export of medical supplies related to “Covid” in order to give priority to meeting its internal needs and requirements, has now announced the air transportation of the anti-virus drug “Remdesivir” and the raw materials for the “Coffeeshield” vaccine to fight the outbreak of the epidemic. France, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Kuwait and a number of other neighboring countries have also taken the initiative to provide support to India in these difficult circumstances. In a perfect gesture, Pakistan has also offered relief supplies to help India fight the latest wave of “Covid-19”. The Pakistani offer includes ventilators, digital X-ray machines, and related medical materials in order to jointly address the “challenge facing humanity”, Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
The second wave of the Corona virus epidemic in India comes a few months after the second wave in other countries, which was a warning to other countries that the Corona virus will not go away soon. India appears to have made mistakes like some other countries, such as the United Kingdom, after the first wave reached its climax and it seemed to be over. A degree of indolence and near-normal life has returned to the country, although it was clear that a few other countries had suffered a dangerous second wave. Indeed, policymakers and elected leaders could have taken notice of this, and discouraged people from gathering for festivals, election rallies, and religious events for some time as a precaution to avoid the situation in which India finds itself today.
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