In India, there is a startling surge of coronavirus cases which has severely impacted the health system of the country, and it shows no signs of abating. It has led to strong pressure on the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, to impose a strict lockdown nationwide.
Many opposition leaders, medical experts, and Supreme Court judges are pressuring the government for national restrictions, arguing that state rules and restrictions are not enough to control the rise in infections.
Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress party, in a letter to the prime minister on Friday, also demanded complete lockdown and support of the government feed the poor. He warned, “the human cost will result in many more tragic consequences for our people.”
The situation in India is highly dramatic. As deaths soar, burial grounds and crematoriums have been swamped with dead bodies. In fact, people have to wait for hours to perform the rites of their relatives.
As a result of rising coronavirus cases, the condition is so severe that people who are calling for lockdowns are merchants, and they know it will affect their businesses, but they see no other way out of the woods.
The alarming picture of India has gripped the attention of the world. The surge in the nation is serving as a warning to other countries with vague health systems. Moreover, it has also weighed heavily on the global medical efforts to end this unprecedented pandemic since India is the major producer of vaccines but has been forced to delay the supply and exports.
Coronavirus infections have swelled in the country since February in a disastrous manner, blamed on infectious variants and decisions of the government to allow massive gatherings for political rallies and religious festivals. On Friday, India recorded 414,188 new coronavirus cases and 3,915 fatalities.
Over the past months, around a dozen states in India have announced strict restrictions. However, there was no nationwide lockdown like last year, which, according to the experts, helped the country to contain the coronavirus for a time. The measures adopted last year in India included stay-at-home, a ban on domestic and international flights, and suspension of passenger service on the rail system of the country.
During the lockdown last year, the government provided free rice, wheat, and lentils to the poorest for around a year. Moreover, the government also provided cash payments to poor families.
The national restrictions led the economy to contract by around 23% in the second quarter of 2020, but a strong recovery was on the way before the coronavirus infection skyrocketed again recently.
The president of the Public Health Foundation of India, Srinath Reddy, acknowledged that the intensity of the coronavirus pandemic differed in each state; however, “coordinated countrywide strategy” was still required. According to Reddy, the decisions should be based on local conditions; however, they should be properly and closely coordinated.
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Release ID: 18615