As the second wave of COVID-19 strikes India with vented fury, at a faster rate than the first wave, studies reveal that the mutated virus is more virulent and deadly than its first variant. However, there is concern that elections campaigning is in full swing with surging crowds, no masking, and distancing or hand washing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading at the helm. Right now, only 3.8% of Indians have been vaccinated to date.
Presently, while the Prime Minister is sending out vaccines globally, which is an excellent gesture and comes under the purview of GAVI initiated in 2000, headquarters in Switzerland, the Vaccine Alliance which is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunization in poor countries. The concern remains is, is there less focus on controlling the pandemic in India, and also are there fewer efforts being made across States to push the vaccine drive faster.
While our population, the second-highest in the world at 1.39 billion is taken into consideration with a view to our low statistics in India far behind on the vaccination drive. It is also anticipated that perhaps by then, another variant would make the present vaccine ineffective.
In Israel: 59% vaccinated.
United Kingdom: 45% vaccinated
US: 28% vaccinated.
Turkey: 10% vaccinated.
India: 3.8% vaccinated.
At this rate, it appears it would take years to get even 50% of Indians vaccinated. Most of the coronavirus cases are being noted in big cities, thus focusing in urban areas will slow the spread, so the jabs would need to be concentrated in densely populated cities, but is it happening as it should?
The election campaigns are in the midst of a flourishing mob-thronging campaign with human surges flocking from all quarters. They are elbowing each other energetically, shouting gustily emitting molecules of spit misting up the atmosphere and most probably infecting thousands in the process. There is absolutely no masking or distancing or even remote hand washes seen in the sea of mobs. The question arises, is India going to be drowned in the second wave of COVID with no hopes of rising above the stalking virus?
While some states are focusing on cities and areas to control the surge, it would not make any impact if the Prime Minister himself disregards the implementations by setting off heavy campaigning. At present, India is in no way even close to reducing the rising figures in COVID-19 cases.
The Center is also criticized for rejecting BMC’s (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) request to allow it to go door-to-door for vaccinating 1,50,000 old and disabled citizens who can’t access vaccines because the Center says it “has no such policy.’
With the Center’s strategy of vaccinating ages 60 plus, and then next drive for ages 45 plus, there are still many who are reluctant or afraid to take the vaccine.
On a despondent note, netizens and citizens are saying that PM Modi promised free vaccines, but the majority are yet to be vaccinated. The ones who took the vaccine were asked to pay, many of the elderly do not want the vaccine, the young who want it are still waiting for the vaccine while some others got infected with other diseases via that vaccination. People are perplexed, not quite sure where India is heading with the pandemic thriving in the midst of election campaigns.
In the middle of it all, Sunil Deodhar, National Secretary, BJP shared a video of the thronging masses in the election campaign crooning fondly, “See this incredible support for Modi Ji in Bengal.”
See, this is what we were talking about! ? See this video
— Sunil Deodhar (@Sunil_Deodhar) April 24, 2019