COVID-19 Cases Spike in India

On April 30, the U.S. Air Force assisted in bringing supplies to India in the wake of the region seeing a large spike in COVID-19 cases.

An article written by the Associated Press highlights the recent outbreak and records some of the staggering numbers.

According to the article, “with 386,452 new cases, India now has reported more than 18.7 million since the pandemic began, second only to the United States. The Health Ministry on Friday also reported 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 208,330. Experts believe both figures are an undercount, but it’s unclear by how much.”

The severity of this increase in cases is not to be taken lightly, as further information in the article noted that “India has set a daily global record for more than a week with an average of nearly 350,000 infections. Daily deaths have nearly tripled in the past three weeks, reflecting the intensity of the latest surge.”

The exact reason for this sudden spike is not certain at the moment, but according to information provided by the Associated Press, experts believe it is due to new variants of the virus that are more contagious, combined with mass public gatherings like religious events and political rallies.

Students at Sacred Heart University were notified of the crisis in an email written to the university by President Petillo, in which he let everyone know what the situation was and how the population of India should be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers, as well as remembering them in masses this weekend.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to those in India and to the students, faculty and staff who have family and friends there,” said Petillo.

The potential danger that comes with this second wave of COVID-19 in India cannot be understated, and the U.S. is taking action to prevent any further cases.

Along with sending supplies over through the Air Force to help India, the U.S. is also planning to place a travel restriction on India.

According to the Associated Press, “Biden signed a proclamation barring entry to most foreigners who have been in India in the past 14 days, with exceptions for legal permanent residents, spouses and close family members of U.S. citizens, and some others. He cited the spread of the virus and its variants.”

“It was kind of always in the back of my head as a possibility, but I didn’t have an idea of where it would be,” said sophomore Chris Gallagher. “I hope it gets taken care of quickly before more lives are lost, and I hope we learn as much from this as we can to make sure it doesn’t happen anywhere else.”

The mass population of India was not anticipating an event like this to occur, but people are helping on their own and doing everything they can to try and get people into hospitals and get vaccinations.

According to the Associated Press, “Three villages in Balaghat district have pooled money to convert buildings into COVID-19 care centers. They have purchased oxygen concentrators and started admitting patients. Government doctors are visiting the facilities twice a day.”

The Associated Press article also makes note of the fact that “India plans to step up a faltering vaccination drive by allowing all adults 18 and older to get their jabs from Saturday. It has so far administered 150 million vaccine doses, according to the Health Ministry.”

According to the Associated Press, as of January, almost 10% of people in India had gotten at least one dose, but only 1.5% had received both.

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