India’s Issue of the COVID-19 Outbreak

Kenny Doan

The on-going COVID-19 outbreak has turned to the worst in India since January 30, 2020, when the first COVID-19 case was reported. A second wave of the pandemic raged through India, logging over 300,000 new coronavirus cases since Monday, but there is a possibility that half a billion cases have not been reported due to the lack of coronavirus tests available. Countries around the world are trying to send aid as soon as possible; however, commercial and cargo flights have been suspended from India to around the world. 

Prior to the second wave, India was reporting an average of 10,000 new cases a day. The Indian government has been criticized for allowing festivals and rallies to go ahead this year and not enforcing the COVID-19 guidelines. Also, India’s hospitals are running short on beds and oxygen supplies to treat patients who are infected by the coronavirus—leading many of the population in India to resort to the black market as a last resort. 

The horror does not stop there—many currently in the capital of India, Delhi, have described how people are dying on the streets outside hospitals with the country struggling to cope with the lack of supplies. Especially as India’s hospitals are overcrowded, facilities have to resort to converting trains, coaches, and sporting buildings to temporary hospitals. 

Those who died from the coronavirus are sent to makeshift facilities for mass burials and cremations due to funeral services being overwhelmed. One facility in Delhi resorted to building pyres in its parking lot to accommodate the unprecedented number of bodies. Workers dealing with the amount of bodies are reportedly working day and night in several cities. Some witnesses had to deal with sitting next door to the parking lot to see the mass cremations, making it really difficult to watch. 

Meanwhile, countries like Britain, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and UAE (United Arab Emirates) have promised to send in oxygen generators, ventilators, and the necessary medical equipment to help control the COVID-19 cases in India. The United States pledged to send in raw materials for the coronavirus vaccines and share up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the other nations; however, the government in India is charging $30 USD for a vaccine, which equals approximately 2,200 rupees. The first shipments of aid from the United Kingdom reportedly arrived in India on Tuesday. 

With the on-going pandemic, it is important to understand the issue around the country and take precautionary measures to defend against COVID-19. The importance of mask-wearing, taking the vaccine, and other measures to defend against COVID-19 is necessary even when they are not required in some places. As summer vacation is coming soon, it is important to keep in mind and stay informed about state guidelines. When traveling internationally especially to India, it is important to stay updated on guidelines and ensure if it is safe and permitted to travel to a country.