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As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

As India's COVID crisis worsens, leaders play the blame game while the poor suffer once again

For now, the Indian government has just asked the states to focus on “stringent containment and public health measures”, including testing, tracing and inoculations.

Sujeet Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

India is witnessing a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases after months of declining numbers had given the country hope it had made it through the worst of the pandemic relatively unscathed.

On March 1, India recorded just 12,286 new cases, but since early April this figure has skyrocketed to over 100,000 every day. Earlier this week, it hit a record of 168,912 cases in a day — the highest in the world.

As the health crisis escalates, the poor are once again fearing a return to lockdown and economic hardship. Migrants have started fleeing from cities to their home villages in order to avoid the pain and trauma they went through a year ago when Prime Minister Narendra Modi enacted a nationwide lockdown. Many cities, including Mumbai and Delhi, have already announced nightly curfews.

For now, the Indian government has just asked the states to focus on “stringent containment and public health measures”, including testing, tracing and inoculations. Modi has also appealed to people to get vaccinated during a four-day “Tika Utsav” (special vaccination drive), which began on Sunday.

However, the situation remains grim. Even though India is one of the world’s biggest coronavirus vaccine manufacturers, some states are experiencing vaccine shortages. At the same time, experts fear a lack of social distancing and new variants of the virus are causing infections to potentially spiral out of control.

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