Indian Covid Crisis What can the diaspora do?

Main Article Content

Professor Indranil Chakravorty PhD FRCP
Subarna Chakravorty MBBS MRCPCH PhD FRCPath FRCP

Abstract

India is going through its second surge of COVID-19 pandemic caught off-guard, after it declared rather publicly that India had vanquished the enemy in September 2020. In the last 2 weeks of April 2021, India has beaten several world records for new cases and deaths by official estimates. The real numbers are likely to much higher as the testing and reporting infrastructure remains in shambles. The triple whammy of mass gatherings, lack of administrative and infrastructure preparedness and low vaccination is probably to blame.


The humanitarian catastrophe that is played out so visually in heart-wrenching stories across the interconnected digital world is of scrambling for oxygen, scarcity of hospital beds, lack of medication and the incessant burying or cremating of the dead. The desperation in the eyes of the people as they queue outside of locked hospital gates, the oxygen cylinders supplying minutes of life to patients in cars or auto-rickshaws as they wait is heartbreaking. For members of the Indian diaspora, these pictures hurt deep and one is bound to feel helpless.


Yet through all this, there is hope. The Gurudwara’s with their oxygen langars, the elderly vacating beds for the younger and often sicker patients, the journalists who are using every social media access to request essential oxygen and drugs, the volunteers who ferry, bury and burn the abandoned dead are testimony of the good that exists in humanity. The world is rising to the call of India including efforts by the Indian diaspora. There are lessons to be learnt but first, let us help and heal.

Article Details

How to Cite
Chakravorty, I., & Chakravorty, S. (2021). Indian Covid Crisis: What can the diaspora do?. Sushruta Journal of Health Policy & Opinion, 14(2), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.38192/14.2.1
Section
Editorial
Author Biographies

Professor Indranil Chakravorty PhD FRCP, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Honorary Professor, Faculty of Life and Medical Sciences

 

Subarna Chakravorty MBBS MRCPCH PhD FRCPath FRCP, Kings College Hospital, London, UK

Consultant in Paediatric Haematology

References

1 COVID Live Update: 152,100,343 Cases and 3,196,193 Deaths from the Coronavirus - Worldometer. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (accessed 1 May 2021).
2 The Mystery Of India’s Plummeting COVID-19 Cases. NPR.org. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/02/01/962821038/the-mystery-of-indias-plummeting-covid-19-cases (accessed 1 May 2021).
3 ago YS-SW 9 days. India breaks global record for highest number of daily COVID-19 infections. livescience.com. https://www.livescience.com/india-broke-global-record-highest-daily-coronavirus-cases.html (accessed 1 May 2021).
4 WHO blames ‘perfect storm’ of factors for India Covid crisis. the Guardian. 2021.http://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/27/international-aid-arrives-in-india-to-combat-deadly-covid-crisis (accessed 1 May 2021).
5 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations - Statistics and Research. Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations (accessed 1 May 2021).
6 Bird M. India’s Vaccine Colossus Is a Model for the World to Follow. Wall Street Journal. 2021.https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-vaccine-colossus-is-a-model-for-the-world-to-follow-11609930891 (accessed 1 May 2021).
7 The World’s Largest Vaccine Maker Took A Multimillion Dollar Pandemic Gamble. NPR.org. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/03/18/978065736/indias-role-in-covid-19-vaccine-production-is-getting-even-bigger (accessed 1 May 2021).
8 Serum Institute to double Covishield vaccine production to 100 million a month. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/serum-institute-to-double-covishield-vaccine-production-to-100-million-month/story/423301.html (accessed 1 May 2021).
9 Vaccine Nationalism Keep World’s Poorest Waiting for Shots - Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-25/curbs-by-world-s-biggest-vaccine-exporter-to-hit-poorest-nations (accessed 1 May 2021).
10 Made-in-India vaccines given to 72 nations, says Jaishankar. https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/made-in-india-vaccines-given-to-72-nations-says-jaishankar/cid/1809790 (accessed 1 May 2021).
11 How India’s Vaccine Drive Crumbled and Left a Country in Chaos. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/india-vaccine-drive-crumbled-left-110000223.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9kdWNrZHVja2dvLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAELUkPeJHg0Y49kJruN0EktWMQMPtMm9M9p-WOQvtX1q4759nSnPwDntrl52OyFHarRuzt2r0rLcFOCKczmQTKVN0anRk-MdAmGER9AjoEbNpbtmbDXeLlYG6QVZfi4ymnbUGIhGf2LVppBTB-LE0OQLMDUCnjC6Pj1id2Cylf6K (accessed 1 May 2021).
12 Mutations, politics, vaccines: the factors behind India’s Covid crisis. the Guardian. 2021.http://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/26/mutations-politics-vaccines-the-factors-behind-indias-covid-crisis (accessed 1 May 2021).
13 Cumulative Cases. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/cumulative-cases (accessed 1 May 2021).
14 Bhramar Mukherjee: Coronavirus modeling, impact on India’s pandemic response. University of Michigan News. 2020.https://news.umich.edu/coronavirus-modeling-impact-on-indias-pandemic-response/ (accessed 1 May 2021).
15 Group C-I-19 S. Historic lockdown, prediction models to study lockdown effects and the role of data in the crisis…. Medium. 2020.https://bhramarm.medium.com/historic-lockdown-prediction-models-to-study-lockdown-effects-and-the-role-of-data-in-the-crisis-a0afeeec5a6 (accessed 1 May 2021).
16 The effects of virus variants on COVID-19 vaccines. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-effects-of-virus-variants-on-covid-19-vaccines (accessed 1 May 2021).
17 Pulla P. India’s Genome Sequencing Program Is Finally Good To Go – So What’s the Hold Up? The Wire Science. 2021.https://science.thewire.in/health/insacog-ccmb-igib-novel-coronavirus-variants-genome-sequencing-covid-19-surge/ (accessed 1 May 2021).
18 COVID-19 continues to disrupt essential health services in 90% of countries. https://www.who.int/news/item/23-04-2021-covid-19-continues-to-disrupt-essential-health-services-in-90-of-countries (accessed 1 May 2021).
19 Maintain essential health services during COVID-19 response: WHO. https://www.who.int/southeastasia/news/detail/06-08-2020-maintain-essential-health-services-during-covid-19-response-who (accessed 1 May 2021).
20 COVID-19 disrupting mental health services in most countries, WHO survey. https://www.who.int/news/item/05-10-2020-covid-19-disrupting-mental-health-services-in-most-countries-who-survey (accessed 1 May 2021).
21 Beg AA. India’s current Oxygen Crisis: All hidden and unhidden truths around it. The Indian Wire. 2021.https://www.theindianwire.com/news/indias-current-oxygen-crisis-all-hidden-and-unhidden-truths-around-it-311023/ (accessed 1 May 2021).
22 Why India is facing an oxygen crisis as COVID cases mount. Reuters. 2021.https://www.reuters.com/world/india/why-india-is-facing-an-oxygen-crisis-covid-cases-mount-2021-04-23/ (accessed 1 May 2021).
23 BAPIO India Covid Fund. BAPIO | British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. 2021.https://www.bapio.co.uk/india-covid-fund/ (accessed 1 May 2021).

Most read articles by the same author(s)