India is currently at the center of the worst spread of the Coronavirus in the world. The latest figures indicate more than 403,738 cases of infection, which represents the fourth consecutive day that more than 400 thousand injuries were recorded in the country, bringing the total number of reported injuries to more than 22 million. According to CNN, the number of patients requiring oxygen support exceeds 900 thousand people, which represents about a quarter of all active cases. India’s Health Minister, Harsh Vardan, said on Saturday that there are still 170,000 people on ventilators.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 4,092 additional deaths, and for the second time in a row, the country has recorded more than 4,000 deaths in one day. With a positive rate of around 22%, according to Johns Hopkins University, international health authorities fear, however, that this total does not cover all of the COVID-19 cases registered in the country.
In total, India has already recorded 242,362 deaths from COVID-19 – the third largest number of deaths in the world, after only the United States and Brazil. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that India in August may have reached 1 million deaths. The Lancet editorial warned that “if this outcome occurs, the (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi government will be responsible for managing an autonomous national disaster.”
In the text, that can also be read India “wasted its first successes” in controlling Covid-19 and that the government had failed to give the public the impression that the country had overcome the virus, which encouraged self-satisfaction and insufficient preparation, which would have delayed the start of the vaccination campaign classified by the Ministry of Health. “Lancet” as “dirty” in the country. And despite warnings of “the dangers of events that spread disease,” religious ceremonies and political gatherings that caused large crowds of people were permitted.
The post also accuses the Indian government of trying to control online criticism. “Modi’s actions in an attempt to stifle criticism and open debate during the crisis are unforgivable,” says the editorial promoting India to increase the supply of vaccine and work to establish a fair distribution system for the vaccine. CNN reported, citing a statement issued by the Ministry of Health, that 35 million people received, on Saturday night, a second dose of the vaccine, which means that about 2.7% of the Indian population has been fully vaccinated.
Recovering from the precarious situation will now depend, says The Lancet, “on the government to bear its mistakes, provide responsible leadership and transparency, and implement a public health response that is science at its core.”