Rat Race or Battle for Life – What is it in South Asia?

“Congratulations India!!! Out of all world meters set on different criterias like development, literacy, standard of life, mortality; you have gained a prominent position in the total count of coronavirus cases. From not being in the top ten countries with the maximum number of COVID-19 cases, you have come up to Rank 4.” And that might possibly be the thought in the mind of many Indians.

While everyone was patting the back of the government for taking ‘timely measures’ to tackle the novel virus, India climbed up from Rank 7 to Rank 4 with almost 3,00,00 lakh cases.

Going the predictions, India is going to continue to rise up in the tally of countries with maximum corona cases. 

Today every eye is set on New Delhi which is becoming the new corona hot spot, not only in India, but in the entire South Asia. The total number of cases in New Delhi is doubling every 12 days – much faster than the current national average of 22 days. Kudos to the national capital who has been able to snatch away the limelight from Maharashtra (particularly Mumbai).

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Mr. Manish Sisodia informs that the capital might see around 5,50,000 COVID-19 positive cases end July which will require approximately 80,000 beds. Do you know how many beds the city-state has today? The answer is – 9,000. It’s tough to understand how the gap between 9,000 to 80,000 will be bridged. Added to it is the behaviour adopted certain hospitals where patients are being turned away.

“They (bodies) are being treated worse than animals.”

-The Supreme Court (on horrific conditions in LNJP, Delhi; 12/06/2020)

Testing is the Only Solution

Most of the health experts have spoken right from the time of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that it is only testing that can save humans until any vaccine comes up. Some officials did adopt it, but some completely turned a blind eye. However, one cannot even hold someone completely responsible for not testing people.

If one studies global testing data, one will easily find the relation between maximum number of tests and average income of the nation. The richer the country, the higher the number of tests, and vice-versa. According to the World Bank’s definition of “lower middle income” nations, most of South Asia falls under this bracket.

Regional Cases are on a Rise

Coming to the South Asian Region, two prominent nations after India – Pakistan and Bangladesh, have combinedly reported around 2,00,000 cases. The population of these nations (taken together) is more than that of the US, and the cases are doubling every two weeks in both nations. Both countries have lifted their lockdown restrictions despite seeing the worse condition of the US and knowing that they do not possess similar health facilities.

What’s the talk of the town?

Well, no doubt that the entire region is fighting against the spread of coronavirus at different levels, the fight is not unified, but individual. Almost all nations in the region have reopened their economies, and additionally have raised more foreign policy issues to shift focus from the virus. Be it India-China stand off, or the Cartographic war waged Nepal claiming a tiny portion of Indian land as Nepalese, or India-Pakistan border disputes especially highlighted in “both nation’s media channels”. The question is, is it the right time to bring in more international matters when domestic affairs are not placed right in hand?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.