By Categories: Society

APRIL 14TH was a big day in India. Hindus and Sikhs gathered to mark the new year. Many Muslims celebrated the first day of Ramadan at late-night feasts with friends and family. In Haridwar, a temple town that this year hosts the Kumbh Mela, an intermittent Hindu festival that is the world’s biggest religious gathering, between 1m and 3m people shoved and jostled to take a ritual dip in the Ganges. And across the country, the number of people testing positive for covid-19 for the first time surpassed 200,000 in a single day.

[wptelegram-join-channel link=”” text=”Join @upsctree on Telegram”]

It has continued to surge since, reaching 315,000 just one week later—the highest daily figure in any country at any point during the pandemic. Deaths, too, are beginning to soar, and suspicions abound that the grisly official toll is itself a massive underestimate. Makeshift pyres are being constructed on pavements outside crematoriums to deal with the influx of bodies.

This horrifying second wave is a catastrophe not only for India but for the world. Allowing the virus to circulate unchecked increases the risk that dangerous new strains will emerge. One worrying variant first detected in India, called the “double mutant”, has already been found in several other countries, including America and Britain. Even as scientists labour to understand how big a threat it poses, more variants are appearing.

A more immediate consequence of India’s second wave for the rest of the world is a disruption to vaccine supplies. India had hoped to be the world’s pharmacy. But with case numbers exploding the government has restricted exports of vaccines.

In the first half of April India shipped just 1.2m doses abroad, compared with 64m in the three prior months. The Serum Institute of India, a private company that manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine, has defaulted on commitments to Britain, the European Union and COVAX, a scheme to supply more shots worldwide. African countries that had been counting on India to provide them with vaccines are looking on in dismay.

With its crowded cities and rickety health care, India is not an easy place to curb an infectious disease. Yet some parts of the country were remarkably successful for a time at slowing transmission. Deaths from the first wave of the pandemic, which peaked in September, were surprisingly low, for reasons that are not clear.

India was quick to institute a nationwide lockdown a year ago, albeit one that failed to plan for the millions of unemployed migrant workers who were at first corralled, destitute, in cities and then allowed to return to their native villages, taking covid-19 with them.

In short, until earlier this year, India’s government, like so many others, had a patchy but not disastrous record in fighting the pandemic. But through complacency and distraction, the govt. has allowed things to spiral out of control.

By mid-February the government had ordered barely enough doses to protect 3% of the population (not counting those it is hoping to get from COVAX).Keen to promote India’s scientific prowess, regulators approved Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine, before it had completed all the necessary trials, even as they insisted that foreign shots must clear extra hurdles. Less than 10% of the population has received a first dose of vaccine. This is more than in many countries, but India is a huge vaccine-producer and could have done better.

There are signs of improvement. On April 13th the government announced fast-track approval for imports of vaccines that have been approved by various countries. It is also belatedly throwing money at procurement. This week it said it would release some $400mto help the Serum Institute boost production. Government updated its vaccine policy to allow anyone over the age of 18 to get a shot, starting next month.

That is of limited use, however, given the shortage of supply that prevails in most of the country. Several states have already run out. India is vaccinating only 3m people a day, or 0.2% of the population, barely exceeding some rough estimates of the real number of daily infections. And even if production increases or more doses arrive from abroad, the current wave is too severe to be stopped by inoculations alone.

Ways must quickly be found to ramp up vaccine production. That does not mean seizing control of private firms or their output, but rather helping them secure the supplies they need from countries such as the United States. Unless India’s second wave is brought under control, the entire world will suffer.


Share is Caring, Choose Your Platform!

Recent Posts

  • Darknet


    Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.

    The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.


    Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.

    These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.

    Pros :

    • Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
    • Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
    • Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
    • Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.


    • Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
    • Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
    • Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
    • Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.