India’s government is accused of extreme negligence for a lack of oxygen and vaccine shortages amid an explosion in cases and related deaths.
Rabat – India’s government is being accused of “crimes against humanity” for its lax approach to the COVID-19 crisis that is gripping the nation of 1.3 billion. Citizens scramble for oxygen tanks and ventilators on the black market and hospitals send patients home as one of the worst COVID-19 waves continues to increase rapidly.
Funeral pyres, an important Hindu burial tradition, now burn 24-hours a day. Many cities have run out of wood to burn the ever-mounting numbers of dead bodies. According to Hindu beliefs, a body must be burned in order to allow the soul to escape the body.
Public health officials reported that 51% of COVID-19 tests came out positive in the Indian state of Goa on Thursday. The numbers coming out of the relatively small Indian state indicates the dramatic scale of India’s COVID-19 crisis that has now claimed 208,330 lives according to government data.
That number could be 30 times higher according to renowned Indian author, Arundhati Roy, who published a scathing op-ed in several global publications. The Man Booker prize-winning writer accused the government of Hindu-Nationalist Narendra Modi of “crimes against humanity,” for its failure to contain the spread of the virus and the absence of life-saving equipment.
Roy highlighted how India is suffering extreme shortages in supplies ranging from the most basic equipment such as oxygen tanks to vaccines, which are produced in two for-profit Indian laboratories. She called for Modi to resign, saying “He and his men could just leave, the rest of us will do all we can to clean up their mess.”
India’s government is facing criticism from across Indian society as the government’s boastful declaration of victory over the virus amid Europe’s second wave in January. Modi told assembled national leaders at the virtual World Economic Forum event that India “ has saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively.”
Those words ring hollow to millions of Indians who are currently facing life-threatening situations of loved ones struggling to breathe as family members scour the black market for essential supplies. The government meanwhile is denying the existence of oxygen shortages altogether.
India’s private and public hospitals are buckling under the weight as the country adds a million new cases every few days.
India’s official data shows the country currently makes up 25% of all COVID-19-related deaths worldwide. Many citizens fear that number is much higher, confident that the true caseload and death toll is being concealed by the government by limiting testing and ignoring rural towns and villages.
According to Roy, Modi’s Hindu-Nationalists are doing little to contain mutated versions from spreading from India’s mega-cities to rural settings as workers flee to their hometowns.