The Situation: A record of 315,802 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in India in the past 24 hours, the highest daily global total. Fatalities were reported to be around 2,104 across the country. The lethal second wave owing to the new Indian variant has been termed as a “super spreader”. According to research, this new strain transfers 50% quicker than the other strains, explaining how India has seen such an unbelievable rise in daily cases over the past month. This new strain has made India end up on the UK’s ‘Red List’ for countries where travel is banned from.
Oxygen and Drug Shortage: With the 7-day average rising to over 220,000, an intense scarcity of oxygen supply and vital drugs has been seen. In Maharashtra, 20+ patients died after oxygen ventilators ran out. Hospital beds are also in short supply as critical cases rise, and people are finding it difficult to find the important antiviral drug remdesivir.
How it got here: Many argue that the second wave in India is so lethal because of demographic factors, owing to the large population. However we can deny this hypothesis by looking at the first wave and how it was contained. The two pivotal reasons include how viral the new strain is, and secondly how many recent religious/political gatherings have been held in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been under scrutiny for not putting strict restrictions in the country. Events like the Kumbh Mela, Baisakhi at Gurudwara, Ramadan prayers, BJP rally, TMC rally and Congress rally are just some of the events that have happened in the past month.
The Kerala model: The Kerala model of development has been praised in India for its efficiency in tackling the issue, as the oxygen plants in the state are now being used to supply other states with oxygen scarcity. Many users on social media praised the state governors and asked other Indian leaders to take inspiration from them.