The enormous mortality, morbidity, and economic slowdown due to the current COVID-19 pandemic have brought almost all countries to their knees. As of 30 April 2021, there have been over 151,819,782 global Covid-19 cases with 18, 933,419 active cases and over 3,188,188 deaths recorded so far as the number continues to come in. The total numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths from India are 19,157,094 with an active 3,272,256 cases and 211,835, deaths respectively. The current World population is 7.77 billion and with a population of 1.37 billion, India is the second-most populous country. India’s pandemic travails stand out of the crowd in their approach and impact.
Population, poverty, unplanned cities, illiteracy, and an already overwhelmed health care system are the major hurdles ahead that would be deciding factors as India continues to groan from the throes of the impact of this COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, most of the regions in India are in stage 3, with several locations now marked as hotspots due to evidence of “localized community transmission” suggesting swats of stage 3 as well.
From the experiences of Italy, Spain, Brazil, and the United States, we observed that once a country enters stage 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care capacity reaches its threshold in a matter of only a few weeks. Even the developed nations with the most advanced and resourceful health care infrastructure have crumpled and ran out of critical beds, mechanical ventilators, personal protective equipment, and other intensive care devices.
Realizing the grave consequences of not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, India is currently trying to be ahead of the curve and efficiently mustering its health and financial resources. India has set a new global record for a rise in daily coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day, while deaths from COVID-19 also jumped by an all-time high over the last 24 hours on Monday.
Several nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, have offered support as India’s under-funded healthcare system struggles to cope with the increasing demand for medical oxygen and hospital beds.
The World Health Organization director-general voiced alarm Monday at India’s record-breaking wave of coronavirus cases and deaths, describing the situation as “beyond heartbreaking”. “WHO is doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies, including thousands of oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals, and laboratory supplies,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva during a media briefing.
While the majority of the nationals had come up in support of the Indian government's move and are doing their bit in maintaining social distancing and following law and orders; however, time and again, random reports of unauthorized religious meetings, spreading of rumors, people fleeing the quarantine centers and hiding travel history, organizing unnecessary vacation trips are some of the potent factors that created this setback for the government to be able to handle the pandemic more effectively.
There are very basic expectations from Indian nationals at this moment of a health crisis: Staying indoors and practicing social distancing, following standard health hygiene guidelines like frequent washing of hands, covering face while coughing, and maintaining self-quarantine if developing dry cough, fever, and fatigue. Also, patients with cancer, pregnant women, and old patients with multiple comorbidities need special care as studies available so far have conveyed that once caught, these patients deteriorate rapidly.
With skyrocketing numbers of cases and deaths, new coronavirus variants, and medical shortages; India’s healthcare system is overwhelmed by a devastating second wave of COVID-19, and there’s no end in sight. This is therefore no longer just India’s fight, it is a collective fight as the unpredictability of the virus makes it dangerous to assume that because it is India, the rest of us can sleep peacefully.
Already, Italy announced Monday they had identified two cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus, in a father and daughter recently returned from India. The news follows reports of another case in the central region of Tuscany last month and comes after the Italian government banned arrivals from the virus-hit country.
All hands have to be on deck because India's Covid-19 travails call to our collective humanity as a global village.
May 02, 2021
by Eguaogie Eghosa