onsdag 5. mai 2021

The pandemic can't end unless the world helps India. Immediately

This time a year ago, as Indian American physicians, we watched helplessly as the United States, our home, succumbed to the first wave of Covid-19. This past week, we watched our ancestral home, India, succumb to a catastrophic surge of the virus with no end in sight. As hospital beds fill, so do our WhatsApp messages with pleas from family and friends abroad who are suffering -- and dying -- amid a medical apocalypse. Our social media feeds are filled with horrifying images of Indians gasping for air rejected by hospitals devoid of oxygen and beds, mass cremations and burials and people dying in the streets.

India, the world's second-most populous nation, is setting world records for the highest number of new infections, with over 400,000 new cases now being reported daily -- a number that most health experts estimate is a gross undercount. The worst is yet to come -- and the US needs to play a leading role in supporting the world's largest democracy. Given that Covid-19 is a global pandemic, the consequences for the US and the rest of the world will be devastating if we fail to immediately control India's Covid-19 crisis.