At over 300,000 new infections and nearly 3,000 deaths a day, the second major wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought India to its knees. Heart-rending scenes play out outside hospitals in cities like Delhi and Mumbai every day as the healthcare system crumbles under the sheer weight of the galloping increase in cases. Beds, oxygen and life-saving drugs are all woefully short of demand. And there is no end in sight to the cycle of bad news.
Devi Shetty, noted cardiac surgeon and founder of Narayana Health, warns that things will get a lot worse in the coming months before they get better. In a recent video clip that has been circulated extensively, he says that India will need an additional 50,000 intensive care beds and over a hundred thousand nurses and doctors in the next 12 months to tackle the surge of patients in hospitals.
The only way to get a grip on this upsurge over time is by vaccinating a large segment of the population. That it helps is clear from the UK,