How India has tackled two waves of COVID-19
India is facing the deadly second wave of Chinese Virus, which first originated in China and also known as COVID-19 worldwide. Many people have lost their lives to Chinese virus in the second wave compared to the first wave due to the new B.1.617 variant which is highly contagious. There have been many criticisms of the government for handling the virus in the country. Though it would be an injustice to judge the govt through the prism of criticism. Therefore, let’s look at how the government has handled the virus so far.
On January 27, 2020, the first case of Chinese virus was reported in Kerala. In march due to the rise of Virus govt on March 25 imposed nationwide lockdown till April 14 which was extended till May 31 in phase manner to contain the rising cases. Then it was unlocked in phase manner. In the first wave, on September 16, 2020, India reported the highest 97,894 new cases and finally on February 1, 2021, India reported lowest 8,635 new cases of Chinese Virus and also less than hundred fatalities in a day.
Due to unavailability of Chinese Virus testing facility, on march 19, 2020, India had tested 191 people. Gradually, India enhanced its capacity and on April 21, 2020, India conducted highest ever 61035 Chinese Virus test. on May 31, 2020, India conducted 125428 Chinese Virus testing. On June 30, 2020, India conducted 210292 testing. On July 31, 2020, India conducted 642588 testing. On November 29, 2020 India conducted its highest 1283449 testing. And till the year end India conducted total 172049274 (seventeen crore twenty lakh forty nine thousand two hundred seventy four) testing. Till February 10, 2021, total 10858371 (one crore eighty five lakh eighty three thousand seventy one) people infected from the Chinese virus and total 155252 (One lakh fifty five thousand two hundred fifty two) people had lost their lives.
In February 2021, Chinese virus cases again started rising and till march end new daily cases reached almost sixty thousand every day, And till the April first week it crossed one lakh marks. On May 7 it reached to 414188 (Four lakh fourteen thousand one hundred eighty eight). As a result of this , on May 21, India reported highest 4529 deaths in a day. However on the same day, India also reported decline in new cases and reported 267334 new cases. Till may 21, India has reported total 26031991 (Two crore sixty lakh thrity one thousand nine hundred ninty one) cases and Two lakh ninty thousand people have lost their lives. India is also testing twenty lakh people every day and so far total 32,44,17,870 (Thirty two crore fourty four lakh seventeen thousand eight hundred seventy) people.
In India, Maharashtra has reported highest infection with fifty four lakh cases. Kerala has reported more than twenty three lakh cases. Karnataka has reported almost twenty four lakh cases. And Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh has reported more than eighteen and sixteen lakh cases of Chinese Virus so far. Maharashtra also has also reported twenty five per cent of total fatalities in India where more than eighty five thousand people have lost their lives to Chinese Virus. Despite being India’s most populated state, Uttar Pradesh has reported almost nineteen thousand fatalities. On the other hand, Delhi, a small union territory with population of almost two crore has reported more than fourteen lakh cases of Chinese Virus and also more than twenty two thousand people have lost their lives.
Now coming to the point, the second wave of Chinese Virus has undoubtedly been most contagious as only in last three months India has reported fifty per cent of its total cases and also the highest number of fatalities. It could be said that it was beyond the control of any government in the world, especially it becomes the toughest job to prevent virus in a country like India with more than one hundred thirty crore population. Even it’s highly unsustainable to impose national lockdown like last year to contain the virus as the economy is also important. However, last year, lockdown was necessary as India had no infrastructure to deal with this new virus. So, the central government has left ‘taking the decision of lockdown’ on state governments. And lastly many of the state governments have imposed the lockdown to contain the virus. Ironically it’s a different matter that opposition had criticised the government for imposition of lockdown. However, the same people were seen advocating lockdown.
In this second wave, many people have lost their lives due to lack of oxygen in initial days, especially in Delhi due to logistical issues and lack of cooperation between the state and the centre . But, with the help of Railways and Armed forces, the government has managed to resolve this issue of oxygen. So far, Indian Railways has delivered nearly 12630 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) in more than 775 tankers to various states across the country.
Not only India has been the victim of this destructive virus, but also the United States despite being a super power and less populated than India with 32 crore people has reported more than 33 million Chinese virus cases and more than six lakh people have lost their lives so far. Here, it is worth mentioning that the country has also vaccinated almost fifty per cent of its population- Of Course India has also administered 20 crore doses of vaccine- yet thirty thousand new cases and more than 600 deaths being reported everyday.
United Kingdom with population of 6.6 crore has reported forty five lakh cases of Chinese Virus and one lakh twenty eight thousand people have also lost their lives.
Having said this, compare to other developed countries, India is still in a better position as fatality rate is still lowest in the world.
By Ravi Mishra