Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday faced growing pressure to impose a tight lockout across the country despite economic pain as the startling rise in corona virus cases showed no signs of abating.
Many medical professionals, opposition leaders and even Supreme Court justices are calling for national restrictions, arguing that the patchwork of state rules is not enough to mitigate the rise in infections.
Indian television stations broadcast images of patients lying on stretchers outside hospitals waiting to be admitted, hospital beds and complex oxygen deprived.
People suffering from COVID-19 disease in villages are being treated in temporary outdoor clinics, where IV drops are hanging from trees.
As deaths increase, cremations and graves become swamps with bodies, and relatives often wait hours to perform funeral rites for their loved ones.
Merchants support drastic measures
The situation is so dramatic that there are traders who call for a strict lockout knowing that their businesses will be affected, but have no choice.
“Only if our health is good, we can earn,” said Aruna Ramji, a florist in the South Indian city of Bangalore. “Locking will help everyone and reduce the spread of corona virus.”
Just as many developed countries are starting to see vaccines reduce infections, the dangerous picture has caught the world’s attention.
India’s rise has served as a warning to other countries with weaker health systems – and as the country is a major vaccine producer has also weighed heavily on global efforts to end the epidemic, but is forced to delay the export of footage.
Epidemics have been on the rise in India since February, and the government has decided to allow large crowds for epidemics and religious ceremonies and political rallies.
10 days of more than 3,000 deaths
On Friday, India announced a new daily record of 414,188 confirmed cases and 3,915 additional deaths. The official daily death toll has risen to more than 3,000 in the last 10 days.
It brings the total to more than 21.4 million COVID-19 infections and more than 234,000 deaths. According to experts, even those dramatic tolls are calculated.
In the past month, nearly a dozen restrictions have been announced in India’s 28 federal states, but they have been reduced by the nationwide lockout imposed last year, at a time when experts are borrowing to help control the virus.
Those measures, which lasted two months, included orders to stay at home, a ban on international and domestic flights and the suspension of passenger service on the country’s comprehensive rail system.
For almost a year, the government provided free wheat, rice and pulses to the poor, as well as small cash payments, while Modi provided more than $ 260 billion in economic relief.
But the lockout, imposed in a four-hour notice, also trapped tens of thousands of migrant workers who fled their jobs and fled to the villages.
A great economic summary
National Restrictions The economy contracted by 23 percent in the second quarter of last year, although a strong recovery was underway before infections rose recently.
Some who remember last year’s test are against complete locking.
“If I have to choose between virus death and starvation, I will choose the virus,” said construction worker Shyam Misra, who started selling vegetables in New Delhi when a lock was imposed on the capital, which was already forced to change jobs.
In the current upsurge, Modi has left the responsibility of fighting the virus to the worst-equipped state governments and faced the fewest allegations ever made.
His government opposed doing all it could.
Amidst the lack of oxygen, the Supreme Court has entered. Following the deaths of 12 Govt-19 patients last week, the Center has ordered the government to increase the supply of medical oxygen to New Delhi.
Three judges this week called on the government to impose a ban, including a ban on mass gatherings.
Dr. Randeep Gularia, a government health expert, believes that total locking is needed as much as last year, especially since more than 10 per cent of those tested are suffering from Govt-19.
Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a letter to Modi on Friday, also demanded total locking up and government support to feed the poor, warning that “human spending will have many more tragic consequences for our people.”
However, some experts, including Vineeta Paul, a scientist at the National Institute of Immunology, support Modi’s policy on selective locks.
Different states have different needs and Paul said local specialties must be taken into account to implement any policy.