United States has overtaken China, Italy and Spain as the nation with the most number of coronavirus cases in the world, according to WHO data globally the number has passed 700,000 and more than 30,000 reported death. The epicenter has clearly shifted, with US now having topped 120,000 cases and 2000 deaths with mostly concentrated in New York. This was however a stark difference just weeks ago when the President, boasted of being able to keep the disease at bay and that America did not need to take severe precautions like the rest of the world. While US is quickly taking the unwelcomed title of being the epicentre of Covid 19, there is another bigger nation looming in the corner about to usurp US in every manner possible.
India, the mysterious Asian nation than seems to be evading the coronavirus with very minor cases being reported, home to over 1.3 billion citizens and holding the position as the worlds most populous and with the highest in density, has just only reported 1024 cases and 27 deaths. Notorious for its slums, unhygienic living conditions, packed trains and poor health system, the country is a hotbed for viral diseases and could easily see Covid 19 spreading rapidly here. Prime Minister Modi has instructed a total lockdown of 21 days, but experts wished it had been earlier. He has closed all borders and grounded traveling till the end of the order. Authorities are patrolling the streets to keep order and ensure its peoples adhere to the stay-home order, barring a few food and grocery shops, India is at a standstill.
So how is that the reported cases in a country that freely socialises and has barely any legroom in its trains, buses, bazaars and restaurants are these low since the outbreak took place in February? Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai house approximately 25,000 people per square kilometres yet 60 days on and there is only 1000 cases. Some medical practitioners are accusing the Indian Government of under-reporting, while others are blaming the health authorities who are not conducting enough tests. Healthcare in India is expensive; the poor often do not get treated and thousands are living in areas with no medical facility anywhere near. There is some truth to the latter, with too few being tested the disease could already be in the community and spreading, infecting hundreds or even thousands. Its just a matter of time before the true extent of the virus could officially reach the World Health Organisation claimed a practitioner.
Modi has apologised for the 21 day lockdown, just like Trump the Indian Government took the decision much later, and quickly went overdrive with complete shutdown. The numbers will continue to increase and overbear the already fragile health system, when the system collapses its when the nation becomes at its most vulnerable. We hope the hypothesis is inaccurate, but just like the European countries who took the virus lightly are all facing unprecedented attack to their medcare, social well-being and the fabric of their beliefs.