India, the land of ashes


India, the land of ashes

One more day, the State exceeds 350,000 infections and sinks into a crisis “more than heartbreaking” where it is proposed to focus aid on young people

A man walks among the funeral pyres in India./Reuters

When a crematorium chimney melts from the incessant burning of corpses, as the BBC reports recently in the 4.5 million-strong port city of Surat, India, hell has come. India is right now the viral underworld, a country of ashes that is experiencing a state of permanent devastation as a result of an unprecedented wave of coronavirus throughout the planet. The numbers are enough: the Ministry of Health reported this Monday of 352,991 new infections and 2,812 deaths in twenty-four hours, a statistic that already exceeds 17.3 million infected since the start of the pandemic and almost 200,000 deaths, to which it will arrive today or tomorrow.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the situation is “more than heartbreaking.” Especially because there is no future in sight. Patients die on the doorstep of hospitals, particularly in the Maharashtra region and in New Delhi, where confinement has not stopped the upward curve and one in three people who undergo PCR tests positive. The epidemic is progressing so fast that, like tornadoes, it has created a spiral. The Government is concerned about the appearance of infections among vaccinated citizens, which encourages two theories: the transmission occurred before the antiviral caught or the so-called double mutant – the local strain that is decisively contributing to this ravage – is capable of bridge the serum barriers.

Hundreds of thousands of sick people wait whole days to be treated on the street. Containment against the virus is becoming a thinner role and, as a consequence, health personnel have been decimated. The Army has called in the doctors in the reserve and transferred the military oxygen reserves to the hospitals. Because there is hardly any left due to high demand – there are even problems finding refillable cylinders -, a failed government management, the powerful black market and a deep fear that has led residents who had money to do so to stock up on this gas in their homes. , as well as necessary medications in ICUs.

The EU and the WHO have sent a first batch of oxygen concentrators and several countries – including neighboring Pakistan, Germany or the United States – have mobilized to carry drugs and cylinders. The Vicente Ferrer Foundation yesterday launched an emergency campaign in Spain to obtain the precious gas. And the Government of Mexico has decided to give India part of its vaccines. But everything is little. So much so that in collapsed regions there are centers that consider the dreaded life-and-death triage and focus the scarce resources on young people, the age group with the best chance of survival, although right now there is a predominance of severe cases in patients 30 to 50 years.

Fear of the double mutant

For neighboring countries and the WHO itself, India is moving towards its transformation into a vortex, a place that could devour itself and its 1.3 billion inhabitants and spread the effects of COVID-19 to its surroundings like a centrifuge. And from Asia, to other nations, where the fear of the double mutant grows due to the blow that it can deliver to vaccination campaigns.

The Government of Pakistan itself did not rule out that it could be plunged into a situation “similar to that of India” after having exceeded 800,000 infections and adding 5,000 in twenty-four hours. Germany, Canada, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Maldives and Bangladesh have already suspended air traffic with India, while Italy imposes a quarantine on anyone flying from there. Spain is also studying ordering restrictions.

“The WHO does everything it can, supplying essential material and equipment,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference where he warned that the pandemic is also growing in other countries.

The Indian hecatomb continues to surprise many. In january. Three months before the nation turned into a massive crematorium, Modi’s government declared that it had beaten the pandemic based on very low infection figures compared to the vastness of the nation. In February, there were 9,000 cases a day. Today, they are multiplied 39 times. The keys are in the mutations – in addition to the double, in India all known variants are active -, poor management, the relaxation of precautionary measures and the lack of foresight in drugs and vaccines in the State that produces the most antivirals in all the world.


Vicente Ferrer Foundation, India, Vaccines, Coronavirus