COVID-19 surge overwhelms India: ‘The condition is so horrible’
India, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is #4 in deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus. More than 182,500 people have died from COVID-19 in India as of Wednesday morning, April 21. And the Financial Times is reporting that India's most recent wave of COVID-19 infections is its worst so far.
Financial Times reporters Benjamin Parkin, Jyotsna Singh, Stephanie Findlay and John Burn-Murdoch explain, "Every night, funeral pyres blaze on the banks of the Ganges — a grim symbol of the ferocious COVID-19 wave, sparking a health crisis and human tragedy in India that is far surpassing anything seen last year. Patients are dying while their families search in vain for hospital beds. Supplies of oxygen and medicines are running low, leading to robberies of drugs from hospitals. Crematoriums and burial grounds cannot cope with the sheer number of corpses."
NEW: a deep-dive into the situation in India, where a devastating second wave is overwhelming hospitals and cremato… https://t.co/APSphng1j4— John Burn-Murdoch (@John Burn-Murdoch) 1618992957.0
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, and others in his Bharatiya Janata Party have drawn criticism from some health experts around the world for holding crowded events that did not adhere to social distancing guidelines. Two months ago, Bharatiya Janata officials were boasting that India had largely conquered COVID-19. But that was before the latest wave of infections.
In many parts of the country including the capital Delhi, cases are doubling every five days. Compared to the stead… https://t.co/Qz6UIjOkms— John Burn-Murdoch (@John Burn-Murdoch) 1618992960.0
And in many places, test positivity is rising at the same pace. Even as more and more tests are done, the share of… https://t.co/rP8XOIRsW5— John Burn-Murdoch (@John Burn-Murdoch) 1618992961.0
All of this is feeding through into a crisis in hospitals beyond what we’ve seen anywhere else in the world over th… https://t.co/36xRwODgVT— John Burn-Murdoch (@John Burn-Murdoch) 1618992962.0
K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, told Financial Times, "Health systems weren't better prepared for it this time around. Many people in the administration across the country did not expect that there would be a 'this time around.' It was somehow presumed that we had passed the pandemic."
Seema Shukla, a nurse at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, told Financial Times that what India is suffering now is much worse than what the country experienced in 2020.
With thousands simply unable to find a hospital bed, death tolls are mounting at a similarly rapid pace. But a loo… https://t.co/p8z1XdA62x— John Burn-Murdoch (@John Burn-Murdoch) 1618992965.0
Essentially, none of those numbers are correct; all are vast undercounts. I collated local news reports (HT… https://t.co/s39qDMA5IB— John Burn-Murdoch (@John Burn-Murdoch) 1618992966.0
According to Shukla, "None of us suffered the death and devastation that we are seeing now. It is much worse this time than last year. The condition is so horrible that so many people are dying on the street, in their houses, before they can see a doctor or even have a test. From early morning to midnight, my phone keeps ringing. Desperate relatives and friends are calling for help: 'Please help me find a ventilator, bed, a nurse, oxygen cylinder, medicine.'"
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins researchers, has killed more than 3 million people worldwide. The United States remains the country with the most COVID-19-related deaths — with more than 568,000 U.S. residents having died from the novel coronavirus. And Hopkins reports that other COVID-19 hotspots include Brazil at #2 and Mexico at #3.
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