India’s Approach to COVID-19: A Success Story
2020 was a year filled with challenges and uncertainties for people worldwide. From the devastating Australian Bushfires to the looming threat of World War III, the year took a turn for the worse with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we bid farewell to 2020 and enter 2021, we reflect on how this year has brought hope and progress, particularly in India’s fight against the virus.
India has taken a commendable step by providing millions of AstraZeneca shots to neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Mauritius. This initiative not only helps in curbing the spread of the virus but also supports developing nations that may have otherwise been last in line to receive the vaccine. Additionally, India has witnessed a significant decline in COVID-19 cases since October, defying expectations of a second wave during the festive season. However, the pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on our well-being, leaving many sleepless nights.
The Factors Behind India’s Success
How did India manage to control the spread of the virus when it was on the brink of surpassing the USA in terms of cases? Several factors may have contributed to this achievement. An interview conducted in Mumbai shed light on some potential reasons.
According to NPR, one possible reason is the strict enforcement of mask-wearing and an awareness campaign led by Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan. The caller tune on mobile phones emphasizes the importance of handwashing, mask usage, and social distancing. Additionally, the heat and humidity in India may have played a role in reducing the virus’s transmission, as winters are not as severe. Furthermore, the immune system of Indians may have been better prepared to fight against the virus due to previous exposure to various pathogens.
The Impact of Indian Immune System and Unhygienic Living Conditions
Many Indians face challenges such as limited access to clean water, consumption of unhygienic food, exposure to polluted air, and living in densely populated areas.
Researchers have found that these factors make them more vulnerable to non-communicable diseases like heart disease, chronic respiratory illnesses, cancer, and diabetes. These underlying health issues significantly contribute to the disease burden in India, as highlighted in a government report. Air pollution alone claims over a million lives in India every year.
The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of safe water, hygiene practices, and clean environments in protecting against COVID-19. A joint report by the WHO and UNICEF revealed that nearly three billion people, mainly residing in developing countries, lack access to basic handwashing facilities. This raised concerns about the potential impact of the virus on these populations, including India.
Despite these challenges, India has managed to keep its COVID-19 death rate relatively low, contributing only 10% to the global death toll, according to CSIR. The country’s remarkable recovery rate has surprised many who anticipated a more severe impact. As we navigate through this pandemic, India’s approach serves as an inspiration and a testament to the power of collective efforts.