In a few weeks, the number of corona patients in India has quintupled. Only in the United States is the spread accelerating faster. The metropolises of Pune and Bangalore have again imposed a curfew.
Asien’s third largest economy reported more than one million people infected with corona for the first time on Thursday. The test rate leads to the assumption that the true number of those infected in India is significantly higher: Of its almost 1.4 billion people, India has only tested 13 million so far. On Wednesday, the subcontinent had reported 968,876 infected people, an increase of 32,695 cases within just 24 hours.
In just six weeks, the number of corona patients in India has quintupled and is only exceeded by those in Brazil and America. However, contagion and deaths are increasing much faster in India than in any other hard-hit country. Among other things, the industrial city of Pune and the data processing metropolis Bangalore, in which numerous German companies such as Daimler operate centers, have again imposed a curfew.
“Only God can help us”
Industry representatives complain that the ever new regulations in individual cities and states are completely disrupting the supply chains. B. Sriramulu, Prime Minister of the state of Karnataka, had said in Bangalore: “Only God can help us, but we have to protect ourselves.”
That worked out perfectly in the Dharavi slum in the metropolis of Bombay (Mumbai): the poor there were much more disciplined than many middle- and upper-class citizens. Thanks to the enormous efforts of many aid organizations, the number of victims in the flagship slum remained manageable. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has just awarded him the accolade: “Dharavi offers the world an inspiration on how to limit the spread of the pandemic.”
Rigorous testing, guaranteed food rations and medicine, and door-to-door surveillance saved Dharavi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to present an Indian vaccination from Bharat Biotech against Corona on August 15, the 74th holiday of independence. Tests are in progress, but experts consider the goal to be unrealistic and even dangerous.
Modi had tried to contain the epidemic at the expense of the economy and the poor: at the end of March, he imposed a week-long curfew. The business climate index is at its lowest level in eleven years. Bank of America predicts economic output will decline by 7.5 percent in 2020.