The scenario is devastating. The health system has long since collapsed, there are no beds, oxygen or medicine to reach it. The outlook is apocalyptic and the new wave that has hit India is far from slowing down.
The desperation is so great that doctors and nurses at the end of their course saw their exams postponed so they could go and fight covid-19 on the front line. This means that the Indian government has put unlicensed healthcare professionals at the service.
No one should die from lack of oxygen. In other circumstances, it’s a small thing, but these days, it’s the only thing we all need “, Gurpreet Singh Rummy, a volunteer, told Reuters.
Hospitals are overcrowded and crematoriums and morgues are swamped with bodies. Patients die in hospital beds, in ambulances and in outdoor parking lots.
At a time when the number of infections is close to 20 million, after the 12th consecutive day with more than 300,000 new cases of covid-19, the government led by Narendra Modi decided to postpone the final exams of intern doctors and nurses, to allow to join in the fight against the virus.
In the capital, New Delhi, he asked the army to provide support in treatment centers and intensive care units.
Modi was widely criticized for failing to act in a timely manner and for allowing millions of people to attend large scale religious parties and political rallies during the months of March and April.
As a sign of hope, the Indian health minister said that for the first time since April 15, the number of positive cases compared to the number of tests has dropped.
Local experts say the peak of this new wave could be reached next Wednesday, May 5th. A few days earlier than the last estimate. However, they also say that the death toll could be much higher than revealed daily, because many people are dying at home without medical care.
The Indian variant has already reached at least 17 countries, which has led many of them to close their borders with the country.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, India has accumulated 218,959 deaths and more than 19.9 million infections, being the second country in the world with more cases, behind the United States, and the fourth with more deaths, after the USA, Brazil and Mexico .
About 9.3% of the population has already taken at least the first dose of the vaccine, against 2% who already have the complete vaccination.