A leading Indian industry body has urged authorities to take the “strongest national steps” and to curtail economic activity to save lives as the country battles surging coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed the healthcare system.
The Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi also called for nationwide lockdown. “The only way to stop the spread of corona now is a full lockdown,” said Gandhi on Twitter. He said the authorities’ “inaction is killing many innocent people”.
He was echoed by Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, who recommended a nationwide lockdown and an amping up of the country’s vaccination drive to bring infections under control. “The situation in India is extremely serious,” said Fauci.
“It’s a severely increased risk to the world, said a public health professional associated with WHO as consultant.
CNN visited a government run hospital in Uttar Pradesh, India, and found scenes of profound suffering.
“If I put up a 1,000-bed hospital today, it would be full in an hour,” a hospital director in New Delhi told The New Yorker.
“With cow urine and cow dung propagated as cure for all diseases, the country is being taken to the dark ages by Modi government”, wrote Syed Ali Mujtaba in ClarionIndia.net.
Politico, while commenting on India Covid crisis, wrote…”(it) is trying to vaccinate its way out of a Covid-19 crisis: On May 1, the country made vaccines available to all adults aged 18 and older. But it’s too late for that strategy to work”.
The South Asian country of 1.37 billion population –world’s largest democracy, has passed a grim milestone of 20 million Covid-19 cases as it grapples with oxygen shortages while crematoriums are overloaded.
But many health experts believe India’s true death toll to be five to 10 times higher than official data.
“India has no option but to close down all economic activity by imposing total nationwide lockdown for at least 6 months”, an analyst tells DesPardes.
“Such a lockdown will likely half its GDP in 2022 as compared to pre-Covid level in 2019. The choice is between health or economic disaster or both due to inaction,” he says.