India closes on the evening of March 24th. Abruptly. The population only has four hours to midnight to prepare, then lockdown comes. And the chaos.
Millions of migrant workers want to go home, to their villages. But trains don’t run, the state doesn’t provide enough buses, people lose their jobs, the government has food distributed. After a week of lockdown, Prime Minister Narenda Modi apologizes for hitting the poorest of the poor particularly hard. But the curfew remains, on April 14th it will even be extended. It will not be eased until May.
And that although the weeks-long lockdown in India hardly helped.
In no country is the coronavirus spreading faster than in India
Because even during the curfew, the number of corona infections increases continuously. With the easing in May, the increase will accelerate, mainly due to infections in the big cities. It escalated at the end of July. More than 90,000 Indians are now infected with the virus every day; the virus is not spreading faster in any country in the world.
Most recently, more than 1,000 people died of Corona every day. Also because the health system is overwhelmed by the virus: India only invests just under two percent of its gross domestic product in the health system. For comparison: in Germany two years ago it was 11.7 percent.
Add to that the economic devastation. In the second quarter, economic output in India collapsed by 23.9 percent – that is the highest value of all G20 countries. “The violence surprised us,” said Kunal Kundu, economist at the investment bank Société Générale, the “world”. “India now accounts for more than a quarter of daily global infections, which means that one of the toughest curfews imposed by any country has resulted in one of the worst results in terms of the ratio of lives saved to lost wealth.”
India threatens a wave of poverty
In fact, a study by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research from August came to the conclusion: The corona crisis could plunge 100 million people into poverty in India.
Nevertheless, the government wants to decide to further relax the anti-corona measures these days. Public transport should run again and public events with up to 100 participants should be allowed again from the end of the month. It is to be feared that these measures will further accelerate the infection process.
“The virus is spreading faster and faster in India, reaching new areas and the greater testing effort now gives us the opportunity to better identify these cases,” said K Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) British Guardian. “In the big cities where the virus arrived earlier, in Bangalore, Delhi and Calcutta, we expect events to calm down by the end of September. But the challenge will be where the virus is only now arriving. I therefore do not see the spreading pattern in India as a summit, but as a whole summit mass with many foothills in the coming months. ”
Fascinating images show people around the world in corona lockdown at their windows