India is not doing well and here is what you need to know.

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NBC News reports that members of the Hindu religion comprise around 80 percent of the Indian population. Since Hindus are cremated after death, mass cremations of the dead due to Covid-19 have been taking place, a process which Hindus believe “release[s] the soul from the cycle of rebirth.” (Photo/AsiaNews.it)

Even as vaccines become widely available to the public in America, India is suffering through a revived onslaught of Covid-19. According to CNN, India is gaining more than 300,000 positive cases every day. The New York Times released a series of graphs tracking the reported cases and deaths throughout India. 

India managed to persevere through the first wave of the virus and quell the situation by February. However, the country relaxed its safety standards, such as social distancing; consequently, the second wave hit citizens harder. 

NPR reports that hospitals across India, specifically Mumbai and New Delhi are experiencing shortages in oxygen, hospital beds, antiviral drugs and Covid-19 test kits. 

“The issue of COVID-19 and India is personal to my family and me because we’re from Kerala, a state in South India. It’s been particularly tough because my mom’s parents are alone as she’s the only child and with us in the U.S,” junior Emilin Matthew said. “They’re really old and my grandpa has had strokes before so they are at high risk. So, we’re all really worried about the crisis – lack of technology, resources, and access to the vaccine are problems that numerous of my friends and family are experiencing in India.”

Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi received criticism from the rest of the world for not acting quickly enough in aiding his country.  This prompted India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to request Twitter, Facebook, as well as other sites to take down around 100 posts that spread misinformation about the crisis and caused “panic.” 

His administration began working to increase necessary hospital assets during late April. Modi also compelled states to avoid lockdowns and deemed them the “last option.”

America  provided 440 oxygen cylinders, 960,000 rapid-testing kits and 100,000 N95 masks to India during its time of need, April 28. 

Even Pakistan, a country known for its strained history with India, released that it would provide medical assistance to support the country. “We must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said. 

Along with the decline in resources, India is facing new mutations of the disease. The B.1617 variant, also known as the triple-mutant strain, was first identified in India and acknowledged as a “variant of concern” also known as a mutated strain that would repel the effects of the vaccine, CNBC stated. The director of India’s National Center for Disease Control announced May 5 that there might be a relationship between the variant and this second wave of Covid-19, but more evidence is needed. 

“ I am concerned that Covid-19 has gotten so bad in India and the potential of new mutations of the virus making even the vaccinated population vulnerable again. A large majority of my family in India right now is infected with the disease, some of whom are hospitalized,” sophomore Mudit Marwaha said. 

Students who would like to donate to help India can donate to the following organizations:

“In my family in India and their various acquaintances, many people, especially younger people too, have come down with COVID, sometimes severe. It is quite unfortunate and tragic that a few have passed away due to COVID,” sophomore Sanshray Singh said. “Thankfully, many people are now starting to take better precautions and prepare hospitals for treatment, and the increased contagiousness and deadliness of this strain can only be stopped by vaccines and coordinated efforts to prevent spread. Hopefully this dangerous strain will not spread far from its origin, and in some months it should be back to normal or eliminated.” (Photo/ Hakan Nural from Unsplash)

Nithisha, a sophomore at American Heritage, is starting her first year on newspaper staff. Besides writing and reading, Nithisha enjoys many artistic hobbies, like painting, sewing and crocheting. She spends most of her time either studying, pursuing one of her hobbies or watching "Gilmore Girls." A total book nerd, she tries to read as often and as many books as possible.

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