India on pace to be worst-hit Covid nation by end of 2021

What I’m wondering about is what are the implications for Africa. India and Africa were both pretty low for a long time, and the rationales commonly offered apply to both. Young populations, rural dispersal, prior exposure to other viruses. Does the fact that India took a big upturn mean that Africa is similarly at risk?

Last night (April 25) they said they had 300,000 new identified cases in just that day, and they said the number was probably under reported.

They seem to be doing considerably better than India.

From CNN:
The daily death toll is projected to keep climbing until mid-May, at which point it could peak at more than 13,000 a day – more than four times Tuesday’s 2,771 death toll – according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations. When it comes to overall deaths, experts believe India’s true toll could be close to 990,000, not the current figure of 198,000, due to the country’s underfunded health infrastructure which has historically struggled to count its dead, Jessie Yeung reports.

U.S. State Department is telling American citizens to get out of India ASAP. Level 4 advisory, highest such warning.

A very grim situation.

I have friends who would love to leave India (she is American, he is Indian), but they are waiting for a gigantic backlog of immigrant visa cases to be processed at the National Visa Center so he can have his consular interview. They are going to have to bug out for a third country in the interim, because right now there are no visa interviews being scheduled in India.

I hope they have somehow managed to get their infant a passport - he was born last April and has never lived a pre-pandemic life. Maybe the U.S. Citizens Services section of the Embassy will at least do that much.

11.5% of the population has gotten the vaccine so they’re making progress. their goal is 4 million doses a day but currently they’re at 2 million doses.

Does the “untouchable” population in India have relevance here? I’ve always wondered how that segment of their population was handled as far as Covid identification, treatment and so on.

A couple of more recent articles about concern and alarm in Africa:


They are doing as well (or as poorly) as anyone else, thank you for your concern. The Indian government does not discriminate against anyone in theory or practice, despite lingering social evils. A large number of the so-called “untouchables” work in healthcare, and received their vaccines ahead of everyone else. When you see images of Indian healthcare workers vaccinating the public, remember that the nurse holding the syringe could very well be the “untouchable” you talk about.

well thank you for fighting my ignorance! I honestly had no idea their population had been integrated so well. Thank you

Not to try to contradict your first-hand (if anecdotal) experience but this article does not paint nearly as rosy of a picture as you do.

Taken as quote from article:

“We’ve been locked up here, like prisoners – we live near a milk factory, and there is not a drop of milk for my children to drink. We are called dirty, and they say we spread the disease,” said Polamma, who only goes by one name.

Pollama said she was stopped by higher caste community members as she tried to walk one kilometer to the market for food."

Another quote:

“During the pandemic, their jobs are considered essential services by the Indian government, but many say they haven’t been given adequate equipment to protect themselves against Covid-19. And if they get sick, there’s no social safety net to ensure they don’t fall even deeper into poverty.”

I could continue quoting the article but i.think I’ve made my point. It certainly seems as tho this “caste” system, while technically abolished, is still very much real and presents a daily struggle for the lives of those at the bottom, the “untouchables”. This pandemic is highlighting those struggles

I remembered this thread when reading this NY Times article. (It’s behind a paywall, but the link is at the end)

One Son’s 48-Hour Fight to Save His Parents

After his parents fell seriously ill with Covid-19, Mr. [Ajay] Koli went on a desperate hunt for oxygen and medical care. His experience is all too common in India as the pandemic spirals out of control.

[He sent a tweet:]
dear friends, yesterday I lost my father due to covid.

Right now my mom’s oxygen level is 80 - 85. She is in home isolation after had covid positive ten days back.

Please help me in getting an oxygen cylinder in South West Delhi.

I don’t want to lose my mom now.

[He received a flood of replies]
He dials the numbers. Many are switched off. Some people ask for exorbitant rates. Cylinders with no tube, no mask, no receipt, no guarantee.

Some tweets are full of hate. His family are Dalits, [untouchables] one of India’s most-oppressed people. “Your father is dead, it’s now your mother’s turn,” said one message. “Both your parents will be cleaning gutter in hell.”

I was not trying to paint a picture, rosy or otherwise. I was only sharing what I know to be true from first-hand experience. In a country the size of India, you can pretty much find every type of vice and evil you can imagine, if you go looking for it. You could, for example, go out looking for FGM, and then write an article on how the bad, bad Hindus still practice mutilating their women. Or Sati, necrophilia, drug abuse, you name it.

The point is these do not scale to the level of the nation. No one in their right minds still practice institutional untouchability. Do some people still do it? Sure.

I would strongly caution you against getting your India (or Asia) “news” from the likes of the CNN, NYT, WaPo. From lengthy experience, I find their coverage of India slanted, biased, unreliable and unrepresentative of the ethos of the nation I have lived in for decades. They have Left-wing agendas, that is for certain. Their coverage choices are informed by that. Take your article as an example: it takes the “caste system” and makes it sound like the nation of a billion people revel in inflicting such injustice upon their own. This is slander, pure and simple.

I call this type of coverage poverty porn. Pay something to dirt-poor people, get their names and photos, and basically write whatever you want. 'Tis the reason the Chinese block many Western news agencies: while the Chinese are authoritarian, Western news agencies are not exactly paragons of honest journalism either.

A vignette from my personal life: every Hindu family has a kuldevata temple - ancestral temple of unique significance to a small group of families. Mine is in remote Southern India. This temple is managed and maintained entirely by those who you would call the “lower castes” or even “untouchables,” including managing the temple’s finances. I have eaten in their homes. Their warmth and love is gratifying, and so is their service of the temple that would otherwise crumble away. This is the essence of India, that your friendly Leftist CNN will never tell you about.

In 8 months? Heck, with over 300,000 new cases a day, I’d think they would achieve that dubious distinction by the end of this month, not this year. :flushed:

Speaking as a Hindu, this is not true.

And speaking as someone with a huge family in India and as someone who has been in “Western journalism” for decades, I don’t find this post more trustworthy than “leftist Western” news sources.

Casteism is a huge problem, although perhaps too complex a problem to fully understand from the occasional news story, and in fact the problem is probably worse in Southern India than it is in other regions. Indeed, South Indians in the I.T. industry have exported casteism to the United States.

And this story smacks of the old “our blacks are happy” story that Southerners used to tell here not too long ago.

And using the Chinese example as one of honest dealing with the press is … interesting, given we know that the Chinese government is one of the world’s most oppressive and dishonest. Of course, the B.J.P. seeks to emulate its tactics.