The aftermath of India COVID-19 catastrophe

By Nur Sa’adah Batrisyia 

India has come to a breaking point with the devastating situation dealing with a massive number of cases in a short time. Due to the characteristic of this virus that is highly transmittable in a large crowd, this had caused India infection rate to skyrocket.

However, to claim India is unprepared to handle medical emergencies is blatant ignorance because the whole world is still battling with this pandemic. The whole world still struggles to revive the economy while ensuring everyone follows the standard operation procedure, yet where did they go wrong? Is the government in total failure or is it the irresponsible citizens who attended the election gathering despite the chaos in the middle of a pandemic? 

No, this is not the time for a blame game. The infection rate is unstoppable, people are dying and the poor are discriminated against from getting access to equal healthcare services. India, a well-known big nation, is struggling to cope with the unforeseen demand for medical necessities. It is a desperate call for help. 

Since decades ago, Indian healthcare and equity have always sparked experts’ concern. The huge gap in socioeconomic status, geography and gender have continued to persist despite the positive progress in worldwide vaccination programmes. The financial burden is the biggest factor that facilitates these inequalities.

The vulnerable group stories and the issue of the humanitarian crisis became the spotlight in news outlets, making India dominate the world section news for the wrong reason. 

How does India’s COVID-19 crisis impact the global world? 

India is the world’s fifth largest economy and a substantial contributor to global economic growth. It can be said that the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is greatly influenced by India’s economy. It has a tremendous impact on the global economy due to its relatively high growth rates (between 4% and 8%) and its vast size. Yet, this pandemic has posed a downside risk to India’s GDP. This is a long-term effect not only to India, but also on the whole world considering the COVID-19 has taken a toll on the global community energy, market, agriculture and labour. 

Energy and industrial commodity exporters will be particularly heavily ruined. The pandemic and the efforts to contain it have resulted in an unprecedented drop in oil consumption and a price fall. Metals and transportation-related commodities such as rubber and platinum (which are commonly used in car parts) have also seen a drop in supplier demand. While global agriculture markets are fully supplied, trade barriers and supply shortages exist.

There is a growing urgency to cushion the pandemic health while also preserving the interest of vulnerable groups. This is the time for big nations to set aside their political interests and quickly find solutions to cease this growing crisis. 

Further, in order to stop the spread of the emergence of Indian new variants to other countries, it is only approachable if travel restriction is imposed. However, it is unimaginable to impose travel restrictions because the economists and business sector will argue “it is bad for the economy”. As a matter of fact, the massive economic shock is unbearable for a country to deal with. The economy loses and the hardships of millions of people are beyond human comprehension.   

Indeed, there are too many mouths to feed. Too many crises to cater for. Therefore, it is the moment for the international community to unite behind India as it deals with its own public health catastrophe. 

Citing the statement by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi that India which has become a one-stop centre as a pharmacy to the world has now left scars in their healthcare system, it honestly stunned the whole world because no one could imagine that a country perceived as a “hero” in this pandemic, has come to a dead end.***

(This is the final part of the three-segment special reports series on COVID-19 situation in India written for Feature Writing class)

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