India is currently fighting a wave of COVID-19 that began in March, is sickening hundreds of thousand each day and is killing thousands—and these numbers are likely vastly underreported, showcasing the severity of this surge.
The current situation is extremely serious. At the current rate of infection, it is projected that 1 million people in India could die from COVID-19 by August. Additionally, vaccine hesitancy is high within the country, with less than 60% of the population willing to be vaccinated. This is compounded by the low vaccination rate so far in the country—only 9.5% of the population currently is vaccinated.
As India is seeing this spike in cases—which many officials are attributing to new COVID-19 variants—officials are imposing lockdowns to prevent the collapse of a healthcare system that is already facing a critical shortage of beds, ventilators and lifesaving medical-grade oxygen.
With COVID-19 rampant in the world’s second most-populous nation, the global health community is on high alert. International and national agencies are ramping up efforts to combat the coronavirus in India, to help flatten the curve of this wave of cases, and prevent the spread of new, vaccine-resistant strains around the globe.
In response, International Medical Corps is activating our Emergency Response Team to address the dire situation in the country. We are working with in-country partners, following our time-proven model of providing resources that will strengthen existing—but overwhelmed—healthcare infrastructure.
With our partners, we will help meet the most urgent health needs—providing medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitation and hygiene supplies, and isolation facilities. We will also address vaccine misinformation and concerns surrounding vaccine hesitancy—key not only to addressing this surge, but any future surges.
As the situation evolves, our teams will remain flexible in our response and consider providing assistance along the entire continuum of care.