NEW DELHI — Over the weekend in Lucknow, one of India’s bigger cities, young people packed into pubs. Despite the Indian government scrambling to lock things down, few on the bar scene were taking the coronavirus very seriously.
India has reported around 169 cases of the coronavirus, and it is a bit of a mystery how the world’s second-most-populous nation, with 1.3 billion people, has remained relatively unscathed while the number of cases explodes to its east and west. That has spawned a sense of almost disbelief about the crisis in some quarters.
The containment measures have been imperfect and fear has started to spread. In the state of Maharashtra, which has recorded the most cases in India, at least 15 people escaped from two hospitals, according to officials and Indian news outlets. The news tells much about the health and the security facility provided at the hospitals. Another news that flashed hours ago was that a patient suffering from the virus has gone to the roof of the hospital and tried to do suicide, as he was not comfortable with the hospital medication facilites.
Also, even after the urge made by WHO to increase the testing of COVID-19, Indian authorities have said they will not expand coronavirus testing, as most affected nations are doing, despite criticism that limited testing could leave COVID-19 cases undetected in the world’s second-most populous country.
What Indian authorities are doing to fight against COVID-19 is too little, too late. While countries like UK, USA, France, NZ, Canada are spending worth of billion of dollars to fight against the pandemic, all India came out was a day lock-down and clapping hands in balcony on Sunday.
Why can’t India provide additional funds to provide emergency health care facilities, instead of asking people to clap their hands. Why can’t we have face masks have been made compulsory. No budget has been allocated for the research on COVID-19 so far, no extra funds to build emergency health camps? How can we overlook the health facilities for 1.3 billion people in the country.