ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Accumulation of Poor Health Infrastructure

India has to substantially scale up its health infrastructure to protect lives and livelihoods.


“The situation in India is a devastating reminder of what the virus can do,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a virtual briefing in Geneva last week. He was speaking in the context of the WHO survey findings which noted that one year into the COVID-19 pandemic around 90% of the 105 countries surveyed reported disruptions in essential medical services. But disruptions would be a mild word in the context of the developments in the major Indian cities, including the national capital Delhi, as the second wave of the pandemic, exposed the massive gaps in health infrastructure, despite the heroic efforts of the medical personnel to make the best of what was available.

Of course, no country can fully protect itself from pandemics of such a massive dimension with the virus mutating and transmitting even faster than in the first wave. But unfortunately, unlike the first phase, when the country was caught unprepared by the pandemic, the disaster in the second phase was human-made, wrought by the lack of any preparedness, whether it be in ensuring adequate raw materials for vaccines, containers and canisters for transporting oxygen, personnel for virus testing or adequate medicines, beds and other facilities. The failure in preparedness is beyond any rational justification, because the governments had almost a year to make adequate preparations and roll out back-up plans and yet did not fully focus on the need to do so. Tens of thousands were left to fend for themselves with the government dragging its feet even on diverting the required oxygen for medical use or for seeking help of friendly governments to secure supplies and other emergency aid. Almost overnight, all the talk of the country being the pharmacy for the world dissipated into thin air. To add to the woes, the central government even stooped down to discriminate between states in making adequate vaccines available.

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Updated On : 8th May, 2021
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