India’s COVID tsunami is the worst in the world. Why is it related to Americans?


Given the fast pace of vaccination and the high prevalence of previous infections in the United States, it is easy to believe that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

But in India today, every day is worse than last time.

“In the last 24 hours alone [India has] There are 300,000 cases, which is definitely an underestimate, “said Dr. Kavita Patel, a medical contributor to Yahoo News. “In some parts of India, such as Mumbai and New Delhi, one in three or one in four test positive. [and that’s] In fact, again, I underestimate it. As a result, Indian hospitals are completely full. Today, doctors, nurses, oxygen, beds, consumables, everything is distributed. “

More than a year after the pandemic, optimistic Americans see the light at the end of their tunnels on Earth as the gap between the two largest countries in the world widens. You will find that it is a long way to go for most of our population. The United States begins to think about how it can help end a pandemic elsewhere.

On April 20, 2021, a woman was comforted outside the body of COVID-19 Hospital in Ahmedabad, India, after her husband died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  (Amit Dave / Reuters)

A woman living in Ahmedabad, India, was comforted on Tuesday after her husband died of COVID-19. (Amit Dave / Reuters)

At its peak this winter, the United States recorded an average of 260,000 new COVID-19 cases daily. However, after a 122% surge in the last 14 days, the daily number of cases in India has already exceeded that threshold twice this week.The curve is very steep, it’s Almost vertical..

According to Bhramar Mukherjee, a biostatistician at the University of Michigan, India, an average of 500,000 new daily cases could occur during the next month if the virus continues to spread in the same clip. .. Deaths are likely to continue: In the last two weeks alone, they have skyrocketed 128 percent.

At this point, India accounts for one-third of the new cases in the world. Its diffusion rate is the fastest in the world. And the tsunami shows no signs of immediate subsidence.

But the bigger problem is that these terrible numbers tell only part of the story. For one thing, India is currently testing at a much lower rate (about once per 1,000 residents per day). Than the recent highs of Western countries United States (5.5), France (8), United Kingdom (21), etc.Meanwhile, in Delhi, one of India’s hardest hit areas, we test our aggressiveness. This week it reached 30%, prompting a six-day blockade.. The combination of inadequate testing and high positive rates suggests that hundreds of thousands of infections are not detected daily.

Healthcare professionals will take a nasal swab sample from a Kashmir girl and test COVID-19 in Srinagar, Kashmir, managed by India on April 21, 2021.  (Dar Yasin / AP)

Healthcare workers will test a COVID-19 girl in Srinagar, Kashmir, managed by India on Wednesday. (Dayasin / AP)

Many, and perhaps most, COVID-19 deaths have also been overlooked.India is now An average of more than 1,100 deaths per day, The second highest level in the world after Brazil. However, economist, epidemiologist, and founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economy and Policy, Ramanan Lakshmi Narayan, Recent interview with New Yorker“Only one in five people is medically recorded,” so in India, “the cause of death in four out of five people is unknown,” and “continues during COVID.”

At the same time, Lakshmi Narayan continues. “People who die from a stroke or heart attack without being tested because the level of testing is so low are not reported to die from COVID because they are likely to be associated with COVID.”

In other words, the underestimation is probably huge.

Reports from the forefront of India’s surge support this theory.”Several majors,” according to a Reuters survey released Monday. [Indian] According to reviews of crematorium and graveyard workers, media, and government data, cities report far more cremations and burials than the official COVID-19 deaths under the coronavirus protocol. “

Relatives wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) will attend the funeral of a man who died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, on April 21, 2021.  (AdnanAbidi / Reuters)

A relative wearing personal protective equipment will attend the funeral of a man who died of COVID-19 at a crematorium in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Adnan Abidi / Reuters)

In Surat, for example, Reuters reported last week that two facilities cremated more than 100 bodies a day under the COVID protocol. This is well above the city’s official daily COVID death toll of about 25. The wood-fired furnace has been in operation for so long without interruption that “metal parts have begun to melt.”

In Lucknow, the number of bodies arriving during the six days of April was twice the official death toll recorded throughout the city, according to data from the largest COVID-only crematorium. Elsewhere, India Today reported that only two Bhopal facilities cremated 187 bodies on the day when the city’s official death toll was five, and last week in Ahmedabad, 63 were recorded by the entire city. Only 20 coronavirus deaths left a single COVID hospital for cremation.

Similarly, hospitals are on the verge of collapse. “In a large hospital in New Delhi, there are two patients per bed. That’s whether you can enter the hospital in the first place. There are literally 50 or 100 lines of ambulances,” Laxminarayan said. It was. The result is a vicious circle. The more patients who have to compete for limited beds, oxygen and medicine, the more care they suffer and the more people who should have been saved die.

Ambulances carrying COVID-19 patients are lining up waiting for their turn to visit a dedicated COVID-19 public hospital in Ahmedabad, India on April 17, 2021.  (AjitSolanki / AP)

Ambulances carrying COVID-19 patients can be seen lining up at the COVID-19 Public Hospital in Ahmedabad, India last week. (Ajit Solanki / AP)

Professor Gortam Menon of Ashoka University told Reuters, “Currently, there is so much pressure on hospitals and health care systems that a significant number of people who would have recovered if they had access to hospital services could die. There is. “

The important thing is that the situation in India is not only bad, it can get worse. The important thing is that India is not so unique. Like many poorer countries in developing countries, India appeared to dodge bullets in the early stages of the pandemic, leaving most of its population untouched and lacking immunity.

Like many of those same countries, India has settled on a false sense of security after a seemingly successful blockade and a recent reduction in infections. Less than two months ago, the Minister of Health of the State Announcement Entering the “late stage” of the pandemic, popular rallies such as cricket matches, large weddings and election rallies were soon resumed. And, like almost all other developing countries, in India, only 8% of its vast population has few people who have been vaccinated at least once.

Sadhu, or Hindu saints, swim in the Ganges during Shahisnan

Hindu saints will take a dip in the coronavirus epidemic earlier this month in Shahisnan at Kumbh Mela, or during the Pitcher Festival in the Ganges River in Haridwar, India. (Denmark Siddiqui / Reuters)

An overview of this is that 40% of Americans, 50% of British and 60% of Israelis have been vaccinated at least once.

But globally, the United States, United Kingdom and Israel are outliers. So far, only 33 countries have been vaccinated at least once in 20 percent of their residents.The· No other 160 or so — And over 100 of them are even behind India.

Epidemiologists tend to tell Americans to pay attention to these inequality. Because they potentially dodge immunity, evade vaccines, and / or person-to-person. why? Dangerous variants are widespread and Many people have been ill for a long time..

And, as it’s worth it, it’s true that India is currently fighting its own worrisome varieties. This mutant, called B.1.617, is a “double mutant” with a pair of protein spike changes that may help increase permeability and partially resist immunity. Scientists are trying to figure out what role B.1.617 plays in India’s surge, if any.For safety, Monday UK Ban on travel from India, And Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled his own trip.

But the bottom line is that India’s pre-immunity is relatively low, vaccination rates are low, there are mass rallies, and it is densely populated against the massive surge in COVID-19, even in the absence of new variants. Was vulnerable. And so are most other countries in the world.

Notification of a shortage of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine will be found on April 8, 2021 at the Vaccination Center in Mumbai, India.  (Francis Mascarenhas / Reuters)

Notification of a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine will be seen in Mumbai, India on April 8. (FrancisMascarenhas / Reuters)

Similarly, a country like the United States— Only 4.3% of the world’s population, but 23.9% of vaccinations are complete — More and more invincible.Even the risk of variants can be hyped in the United States: existing Vaccines still protect from them, And a very effective booster shot is already under development.

Therefore, when US supply begins to exceed demand, even more Country with the world’s largest vaccine maker I’m having a hard time immunizing my people — the question is: What is America with a population of 328 million? The remaining 1.2 billion vaccine doses already secured??

“Now we have experienced our own supply, and that is enough for our entire population, [the United States] To help other countries, we need to shift our gear to thinking about over-vaccine allocation and our own domestic production capacity, “Patel says.

“That’s what we have to deal with as we get closer and closer to our herd immunity … but other countries are far behind.”

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