According to worldometer.info India has crossed 720,000 corona virus cases. Of those cases India has had over 20,000 deaths and over 440,000 recoveries. This has surpassed Russia which currently has 687,000 cases with over 10,000 deaths. India is third on the list, behind only to Brazil and the United States of America for confirmed cases.
What Is Going Wrong in India?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had placed a strict lockdown on the country. India has also advised citizens to follow social distancing procedures. Unfortunately, the safety measures have done little to flatten the curve. Cities most affected by the pandemic will look to resume lockdown in 10 day installments. The fact that testing facilities have been overwhelmed would suggest that the number of infections is substantially higher.
India is the world’s most populated country, with over 1.3 billion people. Testing facilities have improved their ability to test samples. In New Dehli, positive tests have declined dispute the increase of tests. However other facilities simply do not have enough resources and subsequently have been unable to keep up with demand. This coupled with population densities have also reduced social distancing efforts in many areas. The demand that increased COVID-19 cases will place upon an already unstable healthcare system could be catastrophic.
India has a large financially insecure population. Poorer Indian communities are especially at risk during a pandemic. Lack of healthcare resources, inadequate dwellings for lockdown purposes, and no income represents a nightmare scenario for India’s impoverished.
The lockdown was especially devastating to the daily wage laborers, street vendors, and farmers. New Delhi has provided hundreds of thousands of free meals. Yet, these meals are not a substitution for the government stimulus. Nor do they adequately support at risk populations during a lockdown.
It is not solely impoverished workers that have faced the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in India. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) stated that 70% of India’s start-ups have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
The temperatures in New Delhi have been extremely hot in recent months. The conjunction between heat and pollution had reduced the ability for many to wear a mask. There are large numbers of workers, who without work, were forced to commute back to rural villages. Many of these workers were forced to travel great distances on foot, and without shelter.