India is battling a catastrophe presented by the coronavirus as a second wave brings its healthcare system near collapse. The South Asian country has set a world record in COVID-19 cases, putting pressure on hospital beds and draining oxygen supplies, and its Supreme Court has declared a national emergency after a new ‘double mutant’ variant of the coronavirus had been detected alongside other strains of the virus.
Large religious gatherings, the reopening of most public places and crowded election rallies are being blamed for the uptick in cases. Narendra Modi’s government has been accused of complacency, declaring the country was ‘in the endgame’ of the pandemic in early March, yet hospitals are now overwhelmed and less than 10 per cent of the population has received a first dose of the vaccine.
Emma Ross and David Heymann are joined by Sujatha Rao and Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan to discuss the implications of India’s COVID-19 crisis for the world.
How can India’s second wave be brought under control?
Are vaccines the way out of the crisis in India?
What are the most significant challenges ahead?
What are the implications of India’s burden for the global control of the pandemic?