The COVID-19 crisis in India

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The current crisis in India.

Emma Guenther, Staff Writer

Recently in countries like the United States and United Kingdom, large numbers of people have received the COVID-19 vaccine and are happily reuniting with loved ones they haven’t seen in roughly a year. However, in India, the number of cases is reaching record highs each day and sick people are being turned away from hospitals that have run out of the resources to treat them.

This can easily become a global issue quickly, as the more the virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to mutate and create strains that may eventually resist the vaccines that have already been developed. The spread of the virus in India could dissolve the progress that other countries have made in controlling the virus. Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, states that “if we don’t help in India, I worry about an explosion of cases around the world.”

Some countries have already begun to quickly send supplies. US oxygen concentrators were received earlier in the week, and the UK, Italy, and Germany contributed more medical supplies on Wednesday. Russian planes also made their departure carrying much needed medicine, monitors, and ventilators.

According to CNN, the immediate priority is saving those who are already sick, but vaccinating the country is imperative to stop the virus from spreading even further. However, this presents another issue, as India does not have nearly enough doses of the vaccine and there’s no quick way to make more. On Tuesday, President Biden confirmed that he has spoken with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that the US will be sending coronavirus vaccines to India. This announcement was accompanied with a warning that the delivery of these vaccines could take months.

If the outbreak in India isn’t contained, it will likely spread to neighboring countries with low supplies and weak health systems. The world risks replicating the crisis in India if progress isn’t made quickly, and if newer strains of the virus take hold it will be even more detrimental.