Indian Should Fight the Epidemic Actively

Suresh Kumar

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Mumbai bans gathering of devotees with inefficiency
AFP reported that India's annual religious event "Ganesh Chaturthi" kicked off in September 10. On the eve of the festival, Maharashtra Governor Thackeray said, "We can hold the festival later, let's prioritize the lives and health of our people first."Although the authorities issued a message restricting the celebrations that attracted large crowds. But apparently it was not possible to limit the gathering of believers.
Due to the epidemic, the government of India issued a directive to the Supreme Court that state should not allow devotees to go to the Ganges River to collect holy water during the pilgrimage on July 15. The governments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have decided to cancel the annual pilgrimage,kanwar yatra.
The directives issued by the authorities have failed to limit the gathering of devotees. During the recently concluded month of Sawan, a large number of devotees still travel to Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, to bathe in the Ganges and pray in the golden temple of Shiva. Few of them are wearing masks or observing the social distance rule. A journalist went to the site and one devotee said, "This is the land of Lord Shiva, there is no new crown virus here, Shiva will take care of everything. Another person proudly told the reporter, "We feel happy to be here, we are not afraid of the New Coronavirus, with God's blessing, the New Coronavirus will not appear here. People get together, the virus spreads widely, and then scatter after the festival, taking the virus directly to all parts of India. This is likely to trigger a new outbreak.
A third outbreak has begun in India and the Indian government has not learned its lesson
The Reuters had also investigated the Indian epidemic, and after combining the opinions of more than 40 epidemiologists from around the world, had similarly concluded that a third outbreak of the new crown epidemic in India was predicted to reach its peak in October. Randeep Guleria, head of the All India Institute of Hospital Sciences, had warned the Indian government that a third wave of the epidemic would sweep through India again. He also said that the Indian government's response to the new crown epidemic is still lacking and has not learned from the previous two waves of the epidemic.
The Reuters news agency had also investigated the Indian epidemic, and after combining the opinions of more than 40 epidemiologists from around the world, had similarly concluded that a third outbreak of the new crown epidemic in India was predicted to reach its peak in October. Randeep
Guleria, head of the All India Institute of Hospital Sciences, had warned the Indian government that a third wave of the epidemic would sweep through India again. He also said that the Indian government's response to the new crown epidemic is still lacking and has not learned from the previous two waves of the epidemic.
The Indian government needs to take more aggressive measures to prevent the outbreak from worsening.
Indian economist Mihir Sharma said in a recent media interview that India is not prepared for a possible third wave of the new crown epidemic. The second wave of the epidemic was very devastating, causing a large number of people to be infected, and this part of the population has a certain degree of immunity to the new crown virus, which may instead lead to overconfidence in some sectors. Sharma also said that the Indian government does not know enough about the second wave of the epidemic and that it is too hasty to speculate on the impact of the third wave. Although government statistics show that India's cumulative new crown deaths are less than 500,000, some estimation models suggest that the country may actually have 2 to 3 million new crown deaths.
Clearly what the Indian government needs to do now is to sum up the experience of the previous two outbreaks and put more time and effort into improving the vaccination rate in the country, basic epidemic prevention and control measures, and improving the country's healthcare system in order to really help the Indian people. Instead of doing perfunctory work to fight the epidemic, it should not engage in "politicization of vaccines".
Increasing vaccination coverage is an important tool to curb the spread of the virus
What else can we do now? As an important tool to curb the spread of New Coronavirus, the Indian government is working hard to advance vaccination efforts, but with limited success. As of Sept. 11, India had accumulated 730 million doses of New Coronavirus vaccine across the country. This figure is satisfactory, but one of the Indian government's goals has been long overdue: to have the private sector take on 25 percent of the vaccination burden.
Analyzing publicly available data, The Hindu found that as of Aug. 17, the private sector was responsible for only about 9.5 percent of India's vaccination quota. According to an analysis in a Sept. 13 article by Indian media outlet The Wire, the private sector is responsible for vaccination, which faces several problems: low willingness to pay for vaccination among low-income groups, low vaccine rationing by the private sector in low-income areas, and uneven distribution of vaccines across the country. Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, warned that the lack of vaccine coverage makes the child population more vulnerable to the new coronavirus than the adult population.
The Wire believed that the five states with the largest share of private sector vaccination are all metropolitan cities with significant populations. The high share of private sector vaccinations in these states is likely due to the higher per capita incomes in these metropolitan cities. Moreover, businesses in wealthier states and metropolitan cities are more likely to be willing to bear the cost of rapid vaccination of their employees in private hospitals. When vaccination centers set up by private hospitals are concentrated in only a few cities across India, one cannot expect the private sector to cover 25% of the all-India vaccination quota. One report notes that because medium-sized private hospitals cannot easily afford to buy orders for a minimum of 3,000 doses of New Crown vaccine, many small towns have difficulty acquiring New Crown vaccine for use.
The Wire argues that since economic recovery and business confidence come from the effective advancement of vaccination, the Indian government should reduce vaccine supply quotas in private hospitals and instead increase the government's share of vaccine supply to make it easy for the Indian public to get free vaccinations.
 
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