India and COVID-19

Posted by on May 13, 2021 in Current Events, World

We receive daily updates about the state of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States: the number of new cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and now, the number of vaccinations received. As we move into the warmer months, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has begun lifting some of its restrictions about masks and social distancing while outside in small groups. Proms, graduations, and other events have started to take place again, albeit in a modified fashion. But what about the rest of the world? How is COVID continuing to impact people in other countries? Here, btw takes a closer look at India, the country that is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.

What’s Happening in India Right Now?

India is currently the country that’s hardest-hit by COVID-19. Its death toll is higher now than at any other point during the coronavirus pandemic. Last weekend, more than 20,000 new infections and 407 deaths were reported in a single day in the capital city of Delhi alone. India is also the first country to register more than 400,000 new cases in a single day. The country was responsible for almost half of all worldwide COVID infections last week, and a quarter of global deaths.

Hospitals in Delhi are so overwhelmed that many patients have died because there wasn’t enough oxygen for them. There are also more patients than there are available beds, meaning that people in desperate need of hospitalization are being turned away.

Delays in Foreign Aid

The Indian government claims that enough oxygen is available, it’s just not being transported fast enough. Earlier this month, Delhi’s high court said that this is not a good enough answer, and that federal officials must make sure that people have the supplies they need to survive.

Other countries, such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom, have sent plane loads full of ventilators and other emergency medical supplies to India. But those supplies were held in airport hangars rather than being distributed to hospitals. Even as the Indian health ministry claims that it is working around the clock to make sure supplies are distributed, some of the hardest-hit areas of the country still have not received any emergency supplies.

Part of the problem is a problem with India’s lack of strong roads and transportation infrastructure outside of the major population centers. This makes it much more challenging to distribute vaccines quickly to all parts of the country. It is also a challenge that India is such a populous country where people live in extremely crowded conditions. As the past year has shown, if you are not able to separate yourself from sick people, COVID-19 is extremely easy to transmit from person to person. Hopefully, global attention to the problem will help speed up a solution.

Dig Deeper View the interactive maps and charts at this website to learn more about the spread of COVID-19 in India. When did the number of COVID cases begin to rise dramatically? What areas of the country are the most impacted? Where are the places where the vaccination rate is the highest? What conclusions can you draw from this data?