The Indian government hoped that the massive and swift vaccination campaign would redeem it from so many nonsense, but it has caught the flu in the harshest days of the second wave.
It is the latest setback in a country against the grain in the exemplary Asian fight against the pandemic that has just unseated Brazil as the second most contagious in the world. The United States leads a podium that underscores the dire consequences of erratic leadership.
India has chained six daily records of infections in a week, according to the Ministry of Health. 168,000 cases and 839 deaths were counted on Sunday, the highest bill in five months. The local press speaks of crowded hospitals and crematoriums that are barely able to cope .
The second wave, which started in February, has turned out to be more aggressive than that of September. There are almost 1.5 million cases in the last two weeks that have pushed the total to 13.5 million.
The bulk of the pandemic is located in the state of Maharashtra, which is home to the megalopolis of Mumbai, and which is already considering additional control measures. The government blames the population’s contempt for masks and social distancing.
He has not alluded to the political rallies that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his formation, the Bharatiya Janata Party, organized in various states without any elementary measures. Nor to the massive religious acts throughout the country.
In this dire situation, aggravated by precarious infrastructure and weak national health coverage, they relied on the oiled universal vaccination machinery of a country that each year immunizes tens of millions of newborns and pregnant women against polio, measles or HIV. hepatitis.
The government is not short of reasons to brag these days: the country has reached one hundred million vaccinated in just 85 days compared to 89 in the United States or 102 in China. The doses are free in public hospitals and cost as little as 250 rupees (about three euros) in private ones.
60% of vaccine manufacturing
India leads the global manufacture of vaccines with 60% of the total, it has half a dozen giants and, among them, the Serum Institute of India (SII), which produces the injectable from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
No one produces more vaccines in the world or faster than that family business founded half a century ago. 64 million exported units are added to those supplied in the domestic market , an oasis of solidarity in times of hoarding and self-consumption.
This muscle explains the three million vaccinated daily and that the objectives of covering the most exposed unions and those over 60 years old were met. But the extension of the campaign in April to anyone over 45 has burst the seams. The fire in one of the main production plants, located in the city of Pune, has prevented SII from reaching its goal of one hundred million doses per month.
The company has admitted its problems to meet demand and turned off the tap on exports while several local governments lament that their warehouses have been emptied. The one in Maharashtra, the most affected by the pandemic, is one of them.
In the eastern state of Odisha alone, 700 vaccination centers have been closed. New Delhi’s predictable response has been to blame regional authorities for burying their responsibility with lies and encouraging panic among the population. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has promised that 40 million doses will be squeezed in the national pantry.