India needs a brief but extensive lockdown to break the chain of coronavirus transmission and allow the medical community to recover, according to the national president of the Indian Medical Association.
The South Asian nation is in the midst of a catastrophic second wave of Covid infections. Cases increased in February and in the months that followed, large crowds gathered for religious festivals and political gatherings in different parts of the country, mostly without a mask.
There are also growing concern about new virus strains these are possibly more contagious.
On Friday, India reported 332,730 new cases of infection within 24 hours, according to information Government data. For the second time in a row, India reported the world’s highest one-day increase in infections.
“Almost all of our hospital beds are full. But I still believe the infrastructure is good enough to meet people’s needs,” J. A. Jayalal told CNBC.Capital connection“on Friday. The Indian Medical Association is one of the largest professional bodies in the country representing physicians.
While some states have tightened social restrictions, including night curfews, others have moved in partial locks.
“But that’s not good enough,” said Jayalal. “We must be fully locked down for at least two weeks so that hospitals and the medical community can regain, re-emphasize and re-equip our hospital infrastructure to cope with the crisis.”
During the first wave of infections, India imposed a nationwide lockdown between late March and May. While it helped reduce the number of cases, the lockdown had one serious impact on India’s growth pathMillions without income or jobs.
With the economy still struggling to get back on track, experts have suggested the government may be reluctant to impose another national lockdown.
Jayalal said India’s health system is “at the breaking point” and if cases continue to rise rapidly over the next two weeks, the consequences could be “catastrophic.” So far, many cases are concentrated in ten states, including Maharashtra, the epicenter of the second wave, he said.
“We are in the process of shifting resources to areas in need, but that will also have limited impact. If the trend continues beyond this level, we will definitely be in a catastrophic situation.”
So far in April, cases have risen significantly – India reported more than 4 million cases on Friday and at least 24,452 people have died. Media reports suggest that the real death toll could potentially be higher.
The high number of infections has increased the pressure on India’s medical infrastructure. Overworked hospitals reject seriously ill patients due to a lack of beds. A severe lack of oxygenThis has resulted in the deaths of many Covid-19 patients, in part due to the uneven distribution between states. The government has since diverted industrial oxygen supply for medical use.
Medical workers in protective equipment (PPE) stand on alert in front of the Covid-19 station at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on April 22, 2021 in New Delhi, India.
Sonu Mehta | Hindustan Times | Getty Images
Jayalal said India needs more medical workers as the frontline doctors are “stretched out” and mentally drained. He explained that medical professionals have asked the government to expedite processes that would allow junior doctors and medical students to participate in treating Covid patients.
“We are currently in need of intense war-making activity by the government and health professionals,” he added.
India’s vaccination campaign – one of the largest in the world – is also facing supply problems. The country has administered more than 135 million doses, and recently the government Approved grants for local vaccine manufacturers to increase production capacity.