The number of infections in India exceeded 4.2 million, and over 75,000 were recorded only during the previous day. cases of new infections. Thus, India has already overtaken Brazil and ranks second behind the United States in terms of the number of people affected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. What's going on in India? Will the pandemic be contained?
The greatest increases in disease incidence in the most populated regions
The surge in coronavirus infections in small towns, in poorer parts of India has led India to overtake Brazil and now have the second largest number of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections in the world. The United States continues to be in first place. India also has the third largest death toll. There have been 72,843 COVID-19-related deaths there since the start of the pandemic.
The economy is on the verge of collapse, the prime minister is easing the restrictions
1.4 billion people live in densely populated India. Daily reports report an average of 80,000 new infections, while the country is emerging from one of the most severe roadblocks in the world to revive an economy devastated by the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is easing restrictions that have led to 24 percent. decline in India's GDP in annual terms from April to June.
In March, India introduced strict restrictions related to the suspension of economic activity and all public transport. These measures appeared to be able to stem the transmission of the coronavirus, but the blockade proved to be dramatic with consequences for low-paid Indian workers, resulting in a massive return of unemployed people from the cities to their family homes in the countryside. This only contributed to the spread of the infection.
The United States has recorded the highest number of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic. India is second and Brazil is third
The restrictions began to be lifted in June, and now Indian authorities are encouraging everyone to reopen, allowing all sectors of the economy to operate, from catering to transport. "Economic activity is resuming out of sheer necessity," Jacob John, a virologist and former professor at Christian Medical College in Vellore, told The Financial Times, adding: "It has nothing to do with assessing the epidemic. The priority has shifted from health. people on the economy of the country ".
India's Crown Diplomacy
India used the initial decisive response to the pandemic to strengthen its international image as a responsible state and a source of stability in the region. The successful evacuation of Indian citizens and foreigners from Iran, China and Italy has demonstrated the logistical capabilities of the armed forces. In mid-March, India brought together the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which had been inactive for years. creating a joint fund to fight the epidemic, to which they contributed half of the proposed budget ($ 10 million). They provided technical and medical assistance to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, and Indian ships with medical teams, drugs and food also went to the Maldives, Mauritius, Sheychelles, Madagascar and the Comoros. As one of the main global producers of pharmaceuticals, India sent supplies of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol (which at the beginning of the pandemic were considered helpful in treating COVID-19) in the form of gifts and paid to 133 countries, for which they publicly thanked, among others leaders of the US, Brazil and Israel.
In supporting a multilateral response to the pandemic, India called for more G20 activity and closer cooperation with the UN. Indian diplomacy extensively informed about activities limiting the spread of the virus in the country, and a transparent and solidary attitude was to positively distinguish it from China, criticized in the world. India also supported an international investigation (under the WHO) into the causes of the pandemic. As a sign of recognition of India's growing role, in June its almost unanimous election (with the support of 184 out of 194 countries) as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2021–2023 term.
Conclusions and perspectives
The drastic preventive measures adopted by the Indian authorities did not prevent the spread of the disease, although they did slow down its development, allowing time to better prepare the health system. The dynamic increase in the incidence suggests that in the coming months, India may become the biggest pandemic center in the world, which will deepen the worst economic crisis in its history. The global recession and structural problems of the Indian economy will make it difficult to return to the fast pace of growth, and the announcements of building self-sufficiency may reduce the confidence of foreign partners. As a result, the pandemic will slow down the implementation of plans to make India the world's main economy worth $ 5 trillion by 2024.