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Why Did India Fail to Prevent the Deadly Second Wave of Covid-19?

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For seventh consecutive days, India reported daily cases of Covid-19 infection exceeding 200,000 cases. Most recently, 2,95,041 new cases were reported on Wednesday with 2023 new deaths.

This spike in cases in India may be the result of the government’s failure to prevent a second wave of Covid-19.

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The glorification of the decline in cases since September 2020 and the Covid-19 vaccination, caught them off guard and allowed activities that created large crowds.

Quoted from BBC, Monday, in early March 2021, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated that the country was on the edge of the war against the corona virus pandemic.

Vardhan also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership as an example for the world in international cooperation. This is because India has continued to send vaccines to foreign countries since January 2021 as part of vaccine diplomacy.

Vardhan’s uncontrolled optimism is based on the sharp drop in reported infections.

Since a median peak of more than 93,000 cases per day in mid-September, infections have continued to decline.

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In mid-February 2021, India counted an average of 11,000 cases a day. The daily death rate from Covid-19 has also fallen to below 100.

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The euphoria in eradicating the virus has been building since late last year. Politicians, policymakers and sections of the media believe that India is really out of the woods.

At the end of February 2021, India’s electoral authorities announced important elections in five states, with 186 million people eligible to vote.
Starting March 27, 2021, voting will last for a month. In the state of West Bengal, elections are held in eight stages.

The campaign has also started vigorously, without security protocols and social distancing.

In mid-March, the cricket board allowed more than 130,000 fans, mostly without masks, to watch two international cricket matches between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat.

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In less than a month, things began to unravel. India is in the grip of a second wave of the devastating virus and cities face new lockdowns.

By mid-April, the country was handling more than 100,000 cases a day on average.

On Sunday, India recorded more than 270,000 cases and more than 1,600 deaths, a new record in one day.

Experts believe the government appears to have completely lost control of the second wave of infections that will hit India.

They also admitted that they objected to the glorification of the corona virus.

“As is customary in India, official arrogance, hyper-nationalism, populism and the inability of the redundant bureaucracy have combined to create a crisis,” said Bloomberg columnist Mihir Sharma.

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India’s second wave was sparked by people who were off guard, attending weddings and social gatherings.

With infections falling, fewer people are willing to be vaccinated, slowing down vaccination efforts aimed at injecting 250 million people by the end of July.

“There is a feeling of victory. Some feel we have achieved herd immunity. Everyone wants to get back to work. This narrative is getting into many receptive ears, and some voices of caution go unnoticed,” said India Public Health Foundation President P Srinath Reddy.

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