New Delhi – India has overtaken UK and Spain with the fourth highest Covid-19 infections in the world.
India has 380,532 infections and 12,573 deaths, a rate lower than some top nations.
That puts the nation of 1.2 billion behind the US, Brazil and Russia for infection totals and there’s no end in sight.
The doubling rate of infections in the country stands at 13 days, the mortality rate is about 3.36% of total cases.
Home Minister Amit Shah announced a package of new emergency measures for the capital, Delhi, including a rapid increase in testing for Covid-19.
Care homes will also be requisitioned. He also met Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to address the crisis.
The biggest surge is coming from four states — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi.
India’s initial response was to lock down the entire nation.
India has been under lockdown since 23rd Match, now extended to 30th June. Some economic activity opened up in cities and towns where the infection rate is low.
Large surges in infections are reported daily.
In recent days the federal government offered Delhi 500 train coaches to convert into 8,000 bed hospital.
Indian Railways minister said that these will “offer clean, sanitised & hygienic surroundings for the patients to comfortably recover”
The surging rate of infection of Covid-19 in cosmopolitan cities of Mumbai and Delhi was mainly due to the fact that these cities are densely populated and maintaining of social distancing seems nearly impossible.
Mumbai, being the financial capital of the country and a transport hub adds to the woes of the city.
The Hindustan Times reports that Delhi’s bed capacity across private and government hospitals for Covid-19 patients stands at 9,698 of which 4,248 beds are vacant.
The number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi is more than 36,000 and deaths are in excess of 1200.
In Mumbai, the number of cases are more than 55,000, nearly a sixth of the country’s total, and the number of deaths have crossed the 2,000 mark.
The Delhi government plans to use 40 hotels and 77 banquet halls as makeshift hospitals.
Religious tourism is considered mainly responsible for the spread of this disease.
The places of religious gathering such as Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques and Churches can be clusters for Covid-19.
Some religious festivals can be huge.
India had initially closed down all places of worship to curtail the spread of the virus but visitors can still get inside some of them.
Migrants who come to work in major cities from villages were rendered jobless with lockdowns. This created an exodus of people returning to their communities.
These people going back to their hometowns, had a regressive effect on the entire effort of controlling the spread.
Experts suggest India may peak with marginal signs that things are going to be on a downward trend soon.
But they caution people not to let their guard down.
Ravi Matah writes for Vancouverite from India.