The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate the global discourse surrounding public health – with India being no exception. Indian COVID-19 cases now exceed 4,000 and the country has reaped a death toll of more than 100 due to the disease.
At the time of writing, the global COVID-19 case count numbers at 1,288,080 and fatalities number at 70,567. Fortunately, 272,009 people who have contracted COVID-19 have recovered. However, this leaves an active case count of 945,504. Of the currently-infected COVID-19 patients, 95 percent – translating to 899,446 people – are in mild condition. The remaining five percent of patients – translating to 46,058 people – are in serious or critical conditions.
Confirmed Indian COVID-19 cases thus far number at 4,314 of which 3,868 are active. 328 Indians have recovered from COVID-19. Tragically, 118 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed for unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The weekend saw a nationwide candle-lit vigil following a plea from Modi for the same last week. “Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in your balconies, and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights for nine minutes,” he encouraged in an address to the nation last week. “I repeat, light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights, for nine minutes at 9 P.M. on the 5th of April.”
The vigil saw scenes of Indians calling out “hail mother India” and “go corona go” as reported by France 24. Modi took to Twitter in Sanskrit to say “salute to the light of the lamp which brings auspiciousness, health and prosperity, which destroys negative feelings.”
However, the nationwide show of solidarity has not prevented the Modi administration from encountering criticism over its handling of the pandemic. BBC News reports that “critics have dismissed the event as a stunt, arguing it distracted from the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Concerns have been expressed concerning COVID-19 testing and the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers. The Government has said that PPE shortages are easing, as it has endeavoured to procure PPE supplies for healthcare workers including from Singapore, South Korea, and China. Efforts are also underway to deploy testing kits.
The country remains under force of a 21-day lockdown to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. However, controversies have surfaced in the wake of the lockdown – ranging from the treatment of migrant labourers displaced by the lockdown to concerns over the plight of the economically vulnerable facing the prospect of malnourishment and starvation.