Indian recorded the largest global single-day total for COVID-19 cases on April 27. It has recorded consecutive records since April 22, 2021, as the pandemic has rampaged India with more than 16-million cases and 186,000 deaths. Daily more than 2,000 people in India are dying with COVID-19, and it appears that this death count might be underestimated. As people are setting up mass gravesites throughout the country, the Prime Minister is campaigning ahead of the next election. His tactics are similar to the tactics used by former President Donald Trump initially ignored the virus but then made an investment in vaccines. He might believe that if he ignores the issue, his followers will pretend that the pandemic is a hoax.
COVID Deaths are Undercounted and are Occurring in Plain Sight
The death count appears to be misleading. COVID-19 deaths that are officially counted are unreliable and potentially fabricated. Time Magazine reports that in Madhya Pradesh, 94 bodies were cremated on a specific date, but government data reported only three. Morgues are overwhelmed, along with crematoriums, making it less likely that the government can conceal the truth or bolster the false narrative. People are dying as COVID starves them of oxygen.
Delhi’s Gangaram Hospital issued an SOS that only had enough oxygen left for two hours and that 25 patients had already lost their lives due to oxygen shortages. Videos show people stealing oxygen cylinders. Multiple hospitals in India are petitioning the High Courts to seek immediate oxygen supply.
We Have Seen This Play Before
Despite the videos and inescapably horrors in hospitals across India, there appears to be a parallel universe where the coronavirus is not a treat. This scenario happened in the United States, but eventually, the President was voted out of office for ignoring the facts. Superspreader events continue. Tens of thousands of Hindu devotees continue to show up each day for a dip in the Ganges as part of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in Haridwar. As the second wave started in India, state leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party published full-page ads in national newspapers telling worshippers it was okay to attend.
Where is Leadership
As India reports the highest number of new cases, there is little information from leadership about the dangers of the virus. Time Magazine says that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party tweeted a video of Modi’s political rallies. Alongside Modi was his home minister, Amit Shah. Instead of coming up with a plan on how to tackle the pandemic, Shah has been holding roadshows with thousands of joyous crowds on the streets of eastern India. The Home Minister has broadcasts these rallies live on his Twitter and Facebook accounts despite the millions that need medical help. The strategy is clearly one of denial. Despite the death that is spreading across the world’s second-largest, most populous country, the home minister and our Prime Minister have looked the other way to continue campaigning.
The Bottom Line
India was caught unprepared as the second wave of COVID-19, which has ravaged a cross-section of Indian society? The responsibility lies at the top as the Indian administration ignored all caution. This scenario played out in the United States. While 45% of the population voted for former president Trump, the vast majority saw his actions as unforgivable and voted him out of office. Fighting a pandemic is unpopular, especially if you are telling citizens they need to stay home. India has too many people for the vaccinations to take hold quickly and needs more time for herd immunity to protect the population.