India’s COVID-19 Crisis Is Spiraling Out of Control. It Didn’t Have to Be This Way – By Naina Bajekal
.Scenes of mass death are now unavoidable in what’s often called the world’s largest democracy. Social media is filled with images of body bags and urgent requests for medical aid…. India’s crisis has blown well past the scale of anything seen elsewhere during the pandemic. For six of the seven days beginning April 21, India set new global records for daily COVID-19 infections, repeatedly surpassing the 300,000 tally previously set by the U.S….
India’s health system is on the brink of collapse. Hospitals across the country are running out of oxygen supplies, ventilators and beds…. Rather than intensifying public-health messaging and ramping up interventions like banning mass gatherings and encouraging mask wearing, Modi and his officials did the opposite. They held mass rallies ahead of elections and promoted the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage that drew millions of worshippers to a single town.…
As cases soared to record highs in April, the government ordered Twitter and Facebook to remove posts critical of the authorities. Independent journalists have scrambled to identify massive discrepancies between official figures and deaths…. Now, anger is rising among those spending their days trying to find beds for relatives or caring for their communities. But for most Indians, whether Modi can survive this crisis is now less urgent than whether they can….