Why India could not curb virus even if strict lockdown was imposed ?

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Another problem is that during the lockdown , the Central Govt. and state governments should have made the health infrastructure more stronger , but the most of the Govts. did not gear up to deal with the covid-19 pandemic’s public health challenge.

Dr. R.S Dahiya, Ex-Professor, PGIMS Rohtak

Covid-19 pandemic in India along with strict lock down for months together has  caused serious financial crisis , rendered millions homeless and jobless. On the other hand virus spread is continuing unchecked.   

This is a fact that the Govt of India subjected Indians to the one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns in March to check the spread of the coronvirus without prior preparations and without taking public in to confidence, suddenly. This way of declaration by the Prime minister, the lockdown created chaos and confusion as the Indians were totally unprepared for it.  Throughout India , all the economic activities came to a stand still. It was very miserable that more than 140 million migrant workers in big cities and urban areas were suddenly rendered without any job or work because all shops,factories and establishments were closed. It is very unfortunate that, India has the world’s second-largest coronavirus caseload behind the US, with more than 6145291 infections and about 93,351 deaths deaths as on 29th September.

New cases are being detected regularly with no relief in the foreseeable future. No doubt , India scaled a historic peak in the fight against COVID-19 when for the first time a record 1,492,409 tests were conducted Sept. 24, taking cumulative tests to 68,928,440. But public health experts are of the view that the country has the lowest testing rate compared to other top 10 virus-hit nations.       

According to Amulya Nidhi, national co-convener of the People’s Health Movement (Jan Swasthya Abhiyan), India has been very slow in scaling up testing facilities although mass testing is key to containing the virus spread.        “India has been conducting 49,834 tests per million which is much less compared to other nations,” Nidhi told Anadolu Agency.    Another problem is that during the lockdown , the Central Govt. and state governments should have made the health infrastructure more stronger, but the most of the Govts. did not gear up to deal with the covid-19 pandemic’s public health challenge.

This is one of the major reasons that today we are seeing an exponential rise in the number of cases across the country in different states.If we see currently India has been recording the world’s largest daily increases in coronavirus and more people are succumbing to the virus every day here in comparison to many other countries. There is no doubt that we had an opportunity to prepare ourselves during the lock down, but we could not make things favourable . We have hospitals and facilities in urban areas mainly, but, the now the corona virus has started spreading to rural areas. Unfortunately government has no program  to contain, mitigate or delay the spread of of the pandemic in villages where health facilities are very weak staff wise and infrastructure wise.   

Challenge is very challenging. On the other side the people are not made aware enough to take care to protect them from infection.Many countries like Vietnam won the battle against the virus through extensive contact tracing and isola
Another health expert, Amitav Guha, said: “The virus first spread in China’s Wuhan. A country like Vietnam won the battle against the virus through extensive testing , contact tracing and isolation, but our government’s priorities were different at that time.” That is why daily increase is still there in India.But the official version is not thinking on these line to combat the challenge. The version of the Government is that India has a very large population that is spread across different geographical regions. India is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

The government of India has been trying to stop the spread of the virus through a multi-pronged strategy with the participation of all state governments. 

Credit: Jan Swasthya Abhiyan


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