India experiences surge in COVID cases

Brady Cicero, Page Editor

India is currently experiencing the worst wave of COVID-19 the world has seen. India right now has a seven day average of over 300,000. COVID-19 cases in India are up 113 percent over the last two weeks, and deaths are up 222 percent over the last two weeks. (The New York Times) 

This new surge in COVID-19 cases in India can be attributed to new variants circulating around the world. Scientists have identified the variant  B.1.617. This new variant is a huge factor in India’s COVID-19 case surge. Throughout the pandemic, India has had relatively low COVID-19 cases considering its very large population, but now that variants are spreading, India’s COVID-19 response has crumbled. Hospitals across the country are experiencing oxygen shortages, and countries such as the US have sent aid to India, which shows a global cooperation to fight COVID-19.  

While the US and other countries are vaccinating people at rapid rates, India has had a slow vaccine rollout that has contributed to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.  India has only fully vaccinated about 1.8 percent of its population, which is about 24.5 million people. According to Our World Data, these low vaccination rates are causing the variants to spread quicker and easier among non-vaccinated individuals.

In April alone, India reported a record number of COVID-19 cases. 386,452 cases were reported within a 24 hour period, along with 3,498 deaths. India’s government had a slow response to the new variant, and that has caused cases to skyrocket. Experts say that the best chance for India to get its second wave under control is to vaccinate the majority of its population. (CNBC)