With 4,01,993 cases and 3,523 deaths in one day, India is in the worst state ever due to the second wave of the pandemic. We are witnessing an oxygen shortage across the country. Most of the antiviral medicines such as Remdesivir, etc. are nowhere to be found. People are selling them illegally and the consumers are forced to buy them at sky-high rates amidst the shortage. Social media is filled with posts and stories asking for help for themselves, their relatives or their friends.
But how did this happen? Who is responsible for this situation? How did India fail so miserably in handling the outbreak of COVID-19?
Here are the main reasons for the current situation:
After the lockdown in the country was lift-off, most of the citizens acted like they were let out of a cage. They acted carelessly towards their well-being. To them, it seemed like the pandemic was far gone, never to return. We witnessed our President inaugurate a new cricket stadium in Gujarat where matches were held between India and England, around 130,000 people were present in the audience. Masks and social distancing were nowhere to be seen.
The Kumbh Mela was held at Haridwar. Around 7 million people are believed to be part of the ending bath in the holy river Ganga. Around 4 million people were present at any time during the whole month of the Mela. So many COVID-19 cases were witnessed in the Mela. The state government failed to manage the number of devotees attending the event.
There were several other crowd gatherings witnessed throughout the country that helped the virus to spread.
Many states witnessed elections throughout the pandemic-hit year. All the big leaders interacted with large crowds without following any preventive measures. Many rallies were held with almost 100,000 attending every time. Even after warnings from the Court, the political parties ignored them and kept on campaigning for their candidates. As of today, more than 170 volunteers for the election commission have lost their lives due to COVID-19.
While the country was suffering from the pandemic, the broadcast media was busy finding Bollywood gossips and conspiracy theories to get more TRP for their channels. Instead of focusing on the pandemic and current health system, they were focusing on how “China created the virus for their own benefit” and many other conspiracies. Instead of discussing the lack of measures from the government, they were too busy finding out the murderer of an actor, who committed suicide at his house.
While we advertise ourselves as the vaccine provider for the whole world, the situation of our own country says otherwise. Instead of vaccinating our own citizens, our government focused on providing vaccines for other countries. We are a country of almost 1.5 billion people, but merely 1% of the country has been vaccinated for the pandemic. Most of the states are facing a shortage of vaccines with the stock limited for only a few days. There is also a faceoff among the state governments and the union government regarding the prices of the vaccine. The companies will provide the vaccine to the union government at a price of Rs 150 per dose, whereas the price for the State government and private retailers are Rs 700 per dose and Rs 1200 per dose respectively.
Even after witnessing the drastic effect of the pandemic, the government did nothing significant to improve the healthcare system. While they proposed different projects to overcome the pandemic a year back, not a single project has left the discussion stage to the implementation stages. Instead of providing PPE kits, oxygen cylinders and Remdesivir to the hospitals, they are denying the fact that the shortage even exists. In UP, if anyone addresses the issue of oxygen shortage, he will be charged and arrested. If the doctors remdesivir injection to patients, their licence may get cancelled. ICU beds in hospitals are still in shortage, i.e. India requires more than 500 000 ICU beds whereas they only have 90 000 ICU beds. The shortage of oxygen cylinders in every state of India is not hidden from anyone.
Today if we have to hold anyone responsible for the situation of COVID-19 in India, it's both the people and the government of India. If the government had learned a lesson from the first wave of coronavirus and had made necessary arrangements to fight this deadly virus then the country would not have been in this worst condition.
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