World India’s worsening Covid crisis could spiral into a problem for the world
SOS messages, panic as virus breaks India's health system
NEW DELHI (AP) — Dr. Gautam Singh dreads the daily advent of the ventilator beeps, signaling that oxygen levels are critically low, and hearing his critically ill patients start gasping for air in the New Delhi emergency ward where he works. Like other doctors across the country, which on Monday set another record for new coronavirus infections for a fifth day in a row at more than 350,000, the cardiologist has taken to begging and borrowing cylinders of oxygen just to keep his most critical patients alive for one more day.
- India — home to around 1.4 billion people or 18% of the world's population — has reported a sharp spike in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past month.
- Experts warned that surging coronavirus infections across the India could scuttle efforts to end the global pandemic.
- A prolonged outbreak in the country could lead to the emergence of new variants, hinder global vaccination progress and threaten the world economy.
India's Covid-19 cases spiked in April to daily record highs, and experts warn the country's worsening health crisis could scuttle efforts to end the global pandemic.
India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system
NEW DELHI (AP) — India crossed a grim milestone Wednesday of 200,000 people lost to the coronavirus as a devastating surge of new infections tears through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelms health care systems on the brink of collapse. The health ministry reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing India's total fatalities to 201,187, as the world's second most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet. The country also reported 362,757 new infections, a new global record, which raised the overall total past 17.9 million.
The South Asian country — home to around 1.4 billion people or 18% of the world's population — accounted forin the past week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. One in every four deaths in the past week came from India, the UN health agency said.
India has reported more than 300,000 new cases daily in the last two weeks, and. Cumulatively, coronavirus infections in India reached around 20.67 million with more than 226,000 deaths, according to health ministry data on Wednesday. Several studies of India's data, however, found that
There are already signs that India's outbreak is spilling over to other countries. Its neighbors Nepal and Sri Lanka have also reported increases in infections, while other regional economies including Hong Kong and Singapore have seen imported Covid cases from India.
Modi could have prevented India's devastating Covid-19 crisis, critics say. He didn't
When countries rose in India, the country didn't go into lockdown. Instead, the government allowed mass gatherings at religious festivals and political rallies to go ahead.His country was on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. That day, India recorded more than 261,000 new coronavirus cases -- more than many countries have seen during the entire pandemic.
Here's how India's coronavirus crisis could spiral into a wider global problem.
Potential new Covid variants
Prolonged large outbreaks in any country could increase the possibility of new variants of Covid-19, health experts warned. Some of the variants could evade immune responses trigged by vaccines and previous infections, they said.
"Here's the bottom line: We know when there are large outbreaks, that variants arise. And so far our vaccines are holding up okay, we're seeing a few breakthrough infections but not much," Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health,
"But India is a big country and if there are large outbreaks there, of course we're gonna all worry about more variants which will be bad for Indians and of course, it will spread around the world," he added.
India first detected the B.1.617 variant — also dubbed the "double mutant" — in October last year. The variant has since beenincluding the U.S., the U.K. and
Opinion: Modi has offered little more than hollow words amid India's horrifying covid crisis
On April 20, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country following a surge in Covid-19 cases. People were expecting answers, a plan, something. Instead, Modi said he felt the pain of the nation but opted not to instate a nationwide lockdown, which several states had already initiated by the time of his address. He also encouraged young people to form neighborhood watch committees to ensure people were following Covid-19 protocols. © Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images BENGALURU, INDIA - APRIL 30: A man wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) performs the last rites of a deceased relative in a disused granite quarry repurposed to cremate the dead
WHO has classified the B.1.617 as, which suggests the mutated strain could be more contagious, more deadly, as well as more resistant to current vaccines and treatments. The organization said more studies are needed to understand the significance of the variant.
Global vaccine supply at risk
India is a, but the health crisis at home has led authorities to as the country prioritizes its domestic needs.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) — the country's main producer — has the rights to produce the Covid vaccine co-developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Some of its production is slated for Covax, the global initiative to supply poor countries with Covid vaccines.
Developing countries are lagging advanced nations in securing vaccine supplies in what the WHO has described as ain distribution.
A delay in vaccine exports by India could therefore leave lower-income countries vulnerable to fresh outbreaks of the coronavirus.
India Covid-19 fact check: Are more young people falling ill? Are vaccinated people getting infected?
Misconceptions about Covid-19 have spread in India and beyond, and some have been accepted as truth. Here's our fact check of some common myths.India is reporting the world's highest number of new cases each day. So many people are dying that crematoriums are struggling to keep up. And the real number of cases and deaths could be many times higher than officially reported.
Threat to global economy
India is theand a major contributor to global growth.
Some economists have downgraded their. But they remained optimistic about the economy's outlook for the year given that restrictions to curb the virus spread have been more targeted compared to the strict nationwide lockdown last year.
The International Monetary Fund last month said it expects India's economy to grow 12.5% in the fiscal year ending March 2022, after shrinking 8% in the prior fiscal year.
Still, the renewed outbreak in India has led several countries to tighten travel restrictions — and that's bad news for airlines, airports as well as other businesses that depend on the travel industry, said Uma Kambhampati, an economics professor at the University of Reading in the U.K.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned that the health crisis in India could drag down the U.S. economy,. That's because many U.S. companies hire millions of Indian workers to run their back-office operations, according to the report.
"Given all these issues, and the humanitarian crisis unfolding, it has become imperative for the world to act quickly to help India – whether such help is requested or not,"published on The Conversation, a not-for-profit website that carries commentaries by academics and researchers.
Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that the World Health Organization said India accounted for 46% of new Covid cases globally in the past week. Due to an editing error, an earlier version of the story misrepresented the time frame.
India's Covid-19 catastrophe could make global shortages even worse .
A terrifying and record-breaking wave of Covid-19 in India threatens to stall the country's economic recovery and send shockwaves through several important global industries. © Saqib Majeed/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images SRINAGAR, INDIA - 2021/05/09: An elderly man walk past closed shops during a coronavirus curfew imposed by the authorities following the surge in COVID-19 cases in Srinagar. Coronavirus curfew in Jammu and Kashmir has been extended till May 17 to contain the surge in coronavirus cases, officials said on Sunday.