India in serious public health emergency

India is in the middle of its most serious public health emergency — more serious and severe than last year, when the coronavirus pandemic first struck. Almost three months after launching its Covid vaccination programme, India has managed to fully inoculate barely 1 per cent of its population. Even as the second wave of the pandemic is ravaging the country, only around 7 per cent of the people have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far, way too less compared to Israel (60 per cent) and the US (36 per cent).
 Each day brings in a new record of the number of. India reported a record single-day rise of 1,84,372 new coronavirus infections pushing the total tally of cases to 1,38,73,825, while the active cases surpassed the 13-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. The death toll increased to 1,72,085 with 1,027 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 18, 2020. Each day brings in a new set of alarming figures from some of India’s largest, politically sensitive, and economically crucial states. Each day brings in more reports of the impact of the new variants of Sars-Cov-2. And each day brings in tragic stories of human suffering, isolation, even fatalities, devastating for those who have lost their loved ones to Covid-19.
In Madhya Pradesh, the situation has become worst since last week. On April 8, 41 bodies were cremated in Bhopal under COVID-19 protocol but the medical bulletin reported 27 deaths in the entire state. On April 9, 35 bodies were cremated in Bhopal, yet the official data said there were 23 Covid-related deaths in the entire state. On April 10, 56 bodies were cremated in Bhopal but the government data claimed 24 had died of coronavirus across the state. On April 11, 68 bodies were cremated in the city and the government reported a total of 24 deaths in the state. On April 12, 59 bodies were cremated in the city, while the official bulletin stated 37 deaths across the state. Moreover,  the crematorium workers are struggling with the daily pressure. Their problems range from running out of wood to blisters on their hands.
Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday recorded its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 infections with 8,998 cases, taking the state's tally to 3, 53,632, an official said. The day also saw 40 deaths, taking the count to 4,261, according to official data.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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