The world is at the edge of a crisis and there seems no end at this time. Most of the countries are in lockdown and major economies are facing a hard time. There are more than 2 million Corona affected cases confirmed globally. If we talk about India, there are more than 12 thousand cases out of which over 1500 people have recovered from the infection. At the global level, half a million people have defeated Corona.
Keeping these stats aside, if we look at the measures being taken by countries, it’s clear that they are not uniformed. Also, countries like the USA, Spain, Italy, the UK are facing a huge challenge as they didn’t take early and expected actions. People also didn’t take Corona seriously and this worsened the situation in these countries.
Where does India stand in comparison to the world?
As long as India is concerned, the situation seems under control so far as a result of the lockdown phase-1. But the numbers are really disturbing and posing questions if we are taking every necessary step to stop Coronavirus from spreading in the country?
See the number of cases, recovered cases and the number of tests being done per 1 million population in India compared to other countries.
Looking at these statistics, it’s quite clear that India is doing far fewer tests per 1M population. However, it can be said that India has done far more tests than in many countries. Total 274599 tests are done as on 16th April 2020. It means the government is doing good. However, the quantity of COVID19 examinations needs to be increased to get a more accurate picture of the spread of Coronavirus in India.
Essential supplies during the lockdown in India
Though lockdown is causing a huge economic loss, India has two positive factors that can’t be ignored.
India has a large stock of generic medicines, especially those effective against Corona, i.e. Hydroxychloroquine. Also, the production of this medicine is on. In fact, India has supplied this medicine to countries in the USA, Brazil, and Israel among many others.
Doctors, nurses, and workers in the medical field, as well as pharma companies, have become the real heroes in this terrifying environment. All clinics and medical stores are allowed to remain opened and having enough stock of generic medicines. So there is no shortage of medical treatment or medicines for the general public so far.
India has more than the required stock level. Normally, there should be 76 lakh tonnes of rice and 138 lakh tonnes of wheat in buffer stock as per the norm. But, as of March 2020, there are 309.76 lakh tonnes of rice and 275.21 lakh tonnes of wheat lying in the godowns of FCI.
Below are the statistics from the FCI’s official website.
Given the stock of food and medicines, India doesn’t have to worry about feeding and providing medical treatment to the citizens during the pandemic and the lockdown. However, the supply system is yet to be improved. The news shown on media is raising questions among the people as to why still there is a shortage of food in some areas. Rationing stores in many cities are still waiting for the new stock.
Challenges for the local and central government
Despite a continuous appeal from the prime minister and other political leaders as well as local authorities, media, and celebrities, people are gathering at the shops and bazaars and roaming without specific reasons. Migrants are also a big challenge as they are trying to escape the cities.
In order to make lockdown effective, local authorities and police are being strict and punishing out-goers. They are also detaining private vehicles, issuing fines and trying many other ways to keep people in their homes. However, the success in the fight against Corona will only be achieved if each person takes responsibility, maintain social distancing, and stay home.
Migrant workers demanding food or permission to migrate
Poor people are waiting for help from the government and losing hope and patience now. A recent gathering of migrant workers outside of the Bandra station in Mumbai sadly reflects this situation. If the authorities fail to provide food and money to needy people swiftly, more such incidences may happen.
Organizations and people serving the poor and needy people
There are many non-government and Not-For-Profit organizations working tirelessly to feed hungry and underprivileged people in slums and backward areas in the country. Also, the mass migration and agitations due to the non-availability of food are considerably reduced within two weeks of lockdown phase1. Now the situation seems fairly under control in the lockdown phase-2.
Looking at the prevailing situation, it’s hard to say what will be the scenario in the coming weeks. But we can say that the government, with help of doctors, medical staff, pharma workers, scientists, government employees providing essential services, police, and citizens, will definitely get India out of this tough time.