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Coronavirus Threatens Catastrophe in India

Author: Vidya Krishnan

Affiliation: Independent journalist

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: March 25, 2020/USA
Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 1865


Keywords: India, Coronavirus, Health infrastructure. 


After taking a toll on most countries around the world, the Coronavirus pandemic will begin to ruin one of the biggest and world’s most vulnerable populations. With a large cohort of the population already living with respiratory diseases, due to air pollution and high rates of tuberculosis, such conditions make densely-populated India the perfect fodder for a virus that attacks the lungs of its victims. Moreover, according to the author, India is home to 50 million diabetic and 54 million cardiovascular disease patients. Although the government has imposed a three-week lockdown to slow the spread,  with the number of cases already growing exponentially the most worrying thing is the underfunded and unprepared health infrastructure of the country, which infrastructure’s capacity to counter the virus is pathetic to say the least. Maharashtra, one of the populous states with 126 million people, has only 450 ventilators and 502 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in its public hospitals. The cultural orientation of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi exacerbates these problems. His Hindu nationalist administration has encouraged unscientific thinking since coming to power in 2014. As a result, cow dung and urine have become a popular remedy to curb the virus. Similarly, social and religious gatherings have seen no stopping. State governments are taking more proactive steps, as the Prime Minister of the country is busy urging people to gather in the balconies and clap in solidarity. He has received a lot of flak from doctors and nurses who complain that the centre has not done enough to ensure the safety of health care workers. 

By: Usman Khan Pathan, CIGA Research Associate



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