India is reeling with the Covid -19 cases that have reached epic proportions, this even as the rest of the world appears to be emerging, seeing the first signs of recovery from the yearlong calamity that engulfed the world as a whole but seemed to have spared India in 2020.
Come 2021, and the current situation is alarming, it is heart-wrenching to see how hard the catastrophe has hit India, with India reporting the highest-ever single-day spikes in Covid -19 cases, each day the number beating the last day record.
Media reports from every city and even Tier I and Tier II cities have hogged the national news headlines, reports from journalists on the ground covering scenes and relaying stories from inside hospitals, the disturbing scenes of people lying outside hospitals, cremation grounds packed with bodies and the health staff reeling under tremendous pressure, all have pointed out to one and the only fact that – we celebrated too early!
The truth can be harsh, and while this may not be a good time to talk about it, given the current circumstance, it is important to note nevertheless and a lesson learned for any emergencies that might happen in the future.
The blame game, as usual, goes on in the political arena, with the state pointing the finger at the Central Government and the Central Government being equally quick to do the same, the political parties are not far behind, with Congress and other regional parties seeing it an opportune time to blame BJP for all the ills.
The truth is, though, it is not only the political parties that have missed the step but also the citizens of this country; we flouted all appropriate norms essential to contain the virus spread – we forgot our masks, we forgot social distancing, we celebrated events amongst huge crowds either personal or religious and forgot all about this deadly virus, even when news reports of mutations and the severity increasing manifold was being dished out in all media channels.
With its massive population and a developing country at that, India is finding all its resources, which includes the health infrastructure stretched to capacity.
The doctors and the supporting staff in all the hospitals have taken the responsibility of taking care of the Covid -19 patients, almost spent themselves, a huge toll on their mental wellbeing, away from their loved ones, are working round the clock to give the required care and medical attention to the patients.
Whether it is hospital beds or the oxygen crises that the country is still facing or even the ratio of the medical caregivers versus the number of patients, the infrastructure and the required resources all nearing a tipping point.
The alarming situation called in for the resources and the chipping in by the country’s defense forces, but the situation still remains grim.
The world coming together to extend a helping hand to India
The present crises in India have led the world to extend a helping hand; the year 2020 saw the world battling with the crises. Countries like the United States, followed by European countries like Spain, Italy, France, and Germany, were the worst hit.
The medical resources were stretched to the maximum even as no vaccine was available at that time.
In 2021 came the announcement by several pharmaceutical companies all over the globe researched and launched their respective weapons, vaccines to tackle the covid menace, India being one of them.
However, despite the vaccines being launched, India struggles to meet the demand and the time frame required for the vaccines to work efficiently on those who are vaccinated.
Today, the current circumstance is spiraling out of control – in the midst of utter chaos; several countries have extended their support to India.
The United States
Initially, the US had refused to supply the raw materials needed for the Bharat Biotech vaccine. However, it soon changed its stand and offered to provide India with rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, therapeutics, and PPE kits which have immediately been made available by the US.
US President Joe Biden tweeted – “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need.”
The US is currently pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.
The United Kingdom
Reuters quoted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as saying, “We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner in the fight against Covid -19. We will continue to work closely with the Indian government during this difficult time”.
The UK is sending over 600 medical devices, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that her government was preparing emergency aid for India; she said, “To the people of India, I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that #Covid -19 has brought over your communities. The fight against the pandemic is our common fight. Germany stands in solidarity with India and is urgently preparing a mission of support”.
Russia has said that it will provide oxygen generators, concentrators, and drugs like Favipiravir.
Canada‘s Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said, “We will stand ready with the PPF (personal protective equipment) and ventilators and any items that might be useful for the government of India.”
Singapore sent 500 BiPAPs, 250 oxygen concentrators & other medical supplies loaded in an Air India flight and India Air Force.
The Covid -19 pandemic has taken a toll like no other in the recent history of humanity; however, it has also brought the world’s nations to stand united and extend a helping hand to each other as and when required. Perhaps this may be the only positive that the Covid -19 pandemic has brought about, to keep diplomatic relationships and any other political differences aside and operate as one to combat this deadly virus.