By Renester P. Suralta
The recent pandemic tragedy in India is a wake-up call to all nations. It is a serious warning never to let our guard down even if we get vaccinated.
This very traditional and conservative country in Southeast Asia with a 1.38 billion population was able to develop its vaccine and among the first countries to inoculate its hundred million citizens. However, the recent incident shocked and dismayed the world, instead of praise and admiration to this self-sustaining country.
The country has reported 346,786 new Covid-19 cases in one day, with 2,624 deaths, the world’s highest daily toll since the pandemic started last year. A total of nearly 190,000 people have died from the virus in the country, while more than 16.6 million have been infected.
India has been overwhelmed. Th crisis brings pain, fear and agony to its people. The infection is spreading so fast that people are dying before they can get a test result.
What is behind the sudden surge despite its dramatic drop weeks ago is not crystal clear. But it was likely due to crowds related to elections. The country’s president hit the campaign trail addressing election rallies in different regions.
Other contributory factors are large groups and social gatherings during religious festivals and the reopening of public places and easing of lockdown measures. Also, the emergence of new “Indian variants” of coronavirus from the United Kingdom has shown to be responsible for the 60 percent transmission.
This situation in India clearly shows how its health care system collapsed because the health protocol standard was not strictly followed and implemented in the community.
The country should learn from India’s tragedy and must impose strict measures to safeguard public health. The people must also cooperate with the government’s effort for safety.
We cannot allow this horrible event to happen in our country. People should not use the occurrence as a reason to ignore and disregard the importance of ongoing vaccination programs. Remember the culprit behind this tragedy among others is not the vaccine but the virus!