Worldwide Impact of COVD Crisis in India
“Beyond heartbreaking” is how WHO General Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the COVID catastrophe in India, calling for an international mobilization to help the country. The director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) John Nkengasong stated on April 29: “We are watching in total disbelief what is happening in India. The situation in India is very, very concerning to us as a continent… It is a wake-up call.” Indeed, it confirms, tragically, the Schiller Institute’s urgent call for the creation of a modern health system and infrastructure worldwide (cf. SAS 21/20).
In India itself, the number of official new cases peaked on April 30, at just over 402,000, then dropped somewhat, after ballooning uncontrollably for three weeks. On May 3, the country surpassed the 20 million infections officially recorded., and the government is hopeful that the rate will continue to decline. However, about 15% on average of those already infected will need hospitalization, so the massive pressure on the hospital system will continue for at least weeks.
The pictures, videos and written horror stories in the Western media are those of overcrowded New Delhi hospitals, with patients sharing beds, lying in corridors and waiting in parking lots for admission. Added to this are the deaths from a lack of oxygen and the funeral pyres in public parks. However, New Delhi is a very small part of the picture. To gain a little perspective, the whole state of Delhi has had 1.2 million cases, while Maharashtra (including Mumbai) is now up to 4.7 million – almost a quarter of all the cases in the nation. And Maharashtra’s three neighboring states to the south, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala share another 4.4 million cases.
The Health Ministry is on a drive to create 1,500 oxygen generation plants, including the possible conversion of 37 nitrogen plants. From outside India, as of May 3, at least fifteen countries had sent help, including Russia and the U.S.. The EU Ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto, said flights from Ireland, Belgium, France, Gemany and Italy have already arrived with oxygen, ventilators and antivirals such as Remdesivir.
India has also accelerated and expanded its own vaccination program, and will soon begin production of the Russian
Sputnik V dose. In the meantime, it is had to stop the export of vaccines to the global market. India’s AstraZeneca plant has been the primary supplier of doses to the WHO for distribution to underdeveloped countries under its COVAX program.
The emergency measures to be taken will be discussed at the Schiller Institute online conference on May 8 (cf. above).