India’s Modi Concentrates on Politics as Covid Rages

Health system implodes under coronavirus’s strain

By: John Elliott

India is facing the prospect of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic surge increasing, with massive numbers of cases and mounting deaths till it peaks in mid-May, and then continues till June and July. The official number of new cases has been rising at more than 300,000 a day for the past seven days – over 2 million a week – though the real total is far higher. 

This is an unimaginable catastrophe as families cope with the tragedies of the virus, the desperate lack of medical advice, shortages of hospital beds and equipment, and the ill health that can follow, and the deaths. 

Chart from Johns Hopkins University

Scenes that have been viewed around the world on television tell of the extreme panic and desperation as families trudge from the overloaded crowded chaos of one hospital to another, seeking medical help, oxygen cylinders, and other facilities, and then mourn as their relatives pass away, sometimes lying in cars, ambulances, and hospital corridors.

The peak could be reached by “possibly mid-May” with new cases going up to 500,000 or more a day, NITI Aayog, a government policy commission, told a review meeting held last week by Modi with chief ministers of states. After that, the wave would “take time to subside — be ready till June/July.”…

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