And for a Friday as India crosses a Million cases of Covid infections, some thoughts….. some musings…..
Crossing the million mark must not alarm us. Comparatively we have done well for a developing country with gigantic population of 1300 million people, with densely populated cities and world’s largest slums (Dharavi in Mumbai with more than a million people staying cramped within 2.1 sq kms). Tha fact that we crossed one million cases only in July speaks of the timely lockdown, extraordinary precautions and citizens’ support to fight the Pandemic. Even Dharavi has controlled the spread. Since June the country is steadily opening up. A developing country must strike a balance between life and livelihood. Most importantly, our fatality rates are among the the lowest. Sadly we lost 26,000 Indians to the Covid when we crossed a million cases. But compared to Brazil with 210 mn population (same as that of UP – just one state in India) death toll is 77,000 and United States, with less than a third of our population and with such hugely developed medical infrastructure, the death toll has already crossed 100,000 and counting. It’s sad that in India, with all its Poverty and poor infrastructure, there are some corrupt political honchos for whom even a pandemic is money making opportunity. Notwithstanding all these, India is braving along. I hope our TV networks stop flashing daily the record breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases in cities and states as if it’s some cricket batting score. We all know, given our Population, the number of Infections will rise. There is nothing new to know. But let us all strive to keep our fatalities as low as possible.
Our Recovery Rate is 63% – exceptionally good and improving day by day. We have far better knowledge of the Virus and measures to tackle now than in March when we locked down. Plasma therapy has shown good progress. Plasma banks have been set up. In Kerala, doctors are using WhatsApp group of treated patients. In Delhi already, as of today, more than 50 donations are taking place daily. Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with ICMR, are developing India’s indigenous vaccine BBV152 and going into advance testing. Astra Zeneca Vaccine has entered third stage trial. Serum Institute Pune, will produce 400 mn vaccines before December and will market under brand name Covishield in India. Adar Poonawalla, MD of SII, has committed to offer 50% of his production to Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC). In addition, Pfizer, Moderna, J&J and many others are also in the race for vaccines. India will be a signatory to GAVI – Global Alliance for Vaccines. We also have drugs to treat serious cases. Apart from Cipla’s Remedesivir, Indian Manufacturer Glenmark has already started marketing Favipiravir under brand Fabiflu. So medicines already available and vaccines on the way.
We need to draw our lessons from the world. Chinese designs are now well known. Let us resolve…. FEAR – NO NO NO…. CAUTION – YES YES YES. Let’s support the fight against COVID-19 – masking, physical distancing, washing hands with soap….. we will succeed, the precautionary way, the Ethical way, the SEEGOS way.