India’s Second COVID-19 Surge is the Worst Yet

Mass+cremation+sites+such+as+this+one+burn+deceased+individuals+day+and+night.

Photo Courtesy via Reuters

Mass cremation sites such as this one burn deceased individuals day and night.

India has been overwhelmed with record breaking numbers of COVID 19 cases. This is the worst surge of the pandemic to date.

The Surge

According to Reuters, more than 300,000 people a day have been infected for over a week straight. Every day breaks each previous day’s record. As of April 30, India has reported 19.56 million cases of COVID and 215,542 deaths. The actual number of cases has been estimated to be  five to ten times higher. Many hospitals have ran out of oxygen. Pushed to the limit are crematoriums and mourges. New variants of the virus have also sprung up across India, but their significance in perpetuating the surge is not yet know. Held in the open are mass cremations. Burned at once are up to 50 people.

Despite being the world’s leader in vaccine production, India is behind in terms of vaccinating itself. India has a population of 1.5 billion. Vaccinated individuals number 25 million. The demand for vaccines is high in India and doses often run out as soon as they are available.

The Prime Minister’s Response

The prime minister of India Narendra Modi has been under scrutiny for his handling of COVID 19 in the country. Modi was able to keep the cases of Coronavirus in India at manageable levels for almost a year with mask wearing initiatives and lockdowns. The lockdowns costed India millions of jobs and caused a 25% decrease in national production output. Modi let millions gather without mask or social distancing in March and April for various religious gathering that took place through the the country. The surge started as a result of the events. When the surge began, Modi refused to shutdown India again fearing an effect on the economy.

Despite his disapproval, the cities of Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha, and Haryana have enforced lockdowns. Modi’s political party has lost much of its popularity as a result of his actions recently. State elections being held amid the surge show he is behind in the polls 

Foreign aid has begun flooding India to attempt to ease the impact of the virus. The Unites States is sending vaccine production materials and oxygen. British government officials have promised to send ventilators. 

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