The United States is finally seeming to get out of this pandemic that’s lasted for over a year, but this isn’t the situation in India. In fact, the pandemic is worse than ever there, with them just recently hitting 25 million cases, 275 thousand deaths, and averaging around a quarter of a million cases everyday. That is the worst it’s been all pandemic for India.
They just recently set the record for most deaths in a 24 hour span on May 19th, with 4,529 total deaths in 24 hours, passing the previous record of 4,475 held by America on January 12th. They have had at least three thousand deaths per day since April 28th. Though the deaths seem to still be rising, the cases per day seems to be decreasing. In late April and early May, India was averaging over 400,000 cases a day, 150,000 more than they are averaging currently.
One of the biggest tools to fighting off this virus are the vaccines, but unfortunately only 3% of India’s population is vaccinated according to Our World in Data, which makes it hard for India to stop the spread. The vaccine has vastly helped slow down the spread in the United States. As of this week, nearly 40% of the population is fully vaccinated, but the U.S. only has a population of 328 million, whereas India’s population is over a billion higher with a whopping 1.36 billion people within its borders. India is also one of the most overcrowded countries in the world, so the virus can often spread easily. Without many vaccinated citizens and overcrowded cities, it’s perfect conditions for the virus to spread.
Another one of the reasons India is having a hard time right now with the virus is because their hospitals are filling up and they are running out of medicines and materials for fighting the disease. Once patients pass away, there are still capacity issues with storing the bodies. In fact, the crematoriums are filling up at an alarming rate, and the workers are having a hard time finding space and wood for the bodies. Some people are doing illegal water burials because they have nowhere else to put the bodies, leading to bodies just floating down rivers.
Although it may seem disastrous, this large wave of cases and deaths seems to be decreasing and hopefully the situation will get better in India. The distribution of vaccines and medicines will hopefully change the tide and help India and it’s citizens and government get over this pandemic.