COVID-19 in India


Courtesy of NBC News

India’s health care system is currently being devastated by a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Fiona Salisbury, Photojournalist

In the United States, much progress has been made when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Even though the United States is on the right track to having a recovery, the amount of COVID-19 cases in India has increased at an alarming rate. Recently data from the World Health Organization, have shown that the total number of new daily cases in India is around 400,000, but even this number is estimated to be a vast undercount. 

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 is high due to the lack of oxygen. As cases continue to rise in India, dozens of dead bodies have been found floating in the Ganges River. According to CBS News, due to the lack of wood needed to cremate the dead in some areas, people have resorted to burying the dead in water; this leads to the bodies ending up in the Ganges River. This has sparked an international concern since it reflects how badly India’s health care system has been impacted by the pandemic.

India’s COVID-19 crisis has been worsened by the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 that is referred to as “black fungus.” According to the Washington Post, this deadly variant often appeared in patients whose immune systems were weakened by COVID-19. This deadly fungus is still uncommon, but healthcare experts are concerned since the mortality rate is estimated to be 50%. Health experts believe that the emergence of “black fungus” is related to the increased use of steroids to treat patients with COVID-19.

Even though it can be hard to find any reason to be optimistic regarding the progression of COVID-19 in India, international support has managed to save many lives. After hearing that India’s health care system was in desperate need of oxygen, many American companies and citizens helped out by donating to help get India the oxygen that was needed. According to CBS News, United Airlines has flown in around 1,000 oxygen concentrators from the United States to India, with 10,000 oxygen concentrators expected to arrive in the next few weeks. According to Juliana Neemeh (10), “it is great to hear that people have been able to help save lives because of their donations.” Because of the international support, the oxygen concentrators that have been purchased have been saving the lives of many people in India.

India’s COVID-19 outbreak can be seen as a reminder to people in the United States on what can potentially happen when a country reopens too soon. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, “The cautionary tale is it ain’t over until it’s over. Don’t declare victory too early.” Experts believe that India had been better prepared to reopen, this second wave of cases may not have occurred. If people learn from India’s COVID-19 crisis, similar second waves can be avoided.