India’s soaring coronavirus crisis is gloomy for everyone
The painful scenes from India are tormenting for everyone, as it fights with soaring cases of coronavirus outbreak. But this outbreak is not just a crisis for India; rather it is a crisis for everyone. The World Health Organization’s chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan best defines this scenario as “The virus does not respect borders, or nationalities, or age, or sex or religion. And what is playing out in India now, unfortunately, has been played out in other countries.”
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has revealed on how the world is consistent, because if a country has very high levels of transmission, then it is likely to spread too many other countries. Even with travel restrictions, multiple tests and quarantine procedures, infections can still thrive. For example, if a traveler has come from somewhere the virus is very widespread; they have a higher chance of taking the virus with them.
Additionally there is another concern with India’s high infection rates due to variants. A new variant has surfaced in India known as B.1.617. It has been hailed by some as the much deadly “double mutant”, because of two key mutations on the spike of the virus. Similarly, the higher the number of corona virus cases a country has, the more likely it is that new variants will emerge.
The measures, such as, lockdowns and social distancing measures will prevent this transmission; but vaccination is also crucial. This is happening gradually in India, and so far less than 10% of its population has had the first dose of the vaccine and less than 2% are fully vaccinated, even though 2,600 health experts are at work. This is due to the fact that it is world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India.
In its second wave in March, as infections in India started to soar, it closed down large exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which can eventually affect the United Nations backed Covax plan to provide doses to poor and developing countries.
Surely, this will force on vaccination roll outs in many countries. But it means more of India’s vaccines are sidetracked for domestic use, while it tries to ramp up production. And with India’s dire situation, scientists say this is a main concern.
Around the world, the pandemic shows no sign of reduction, with the virus overwhelming country after country. The situation in India is a gloomy reminder that none of us will be safe until everyone is safe.
PHOTO CAPTION: A viral picture shows how an Indian woman tries her dying husband to revive