India’s Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the World

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “India’s Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the World” – below is their description.

    Whether the global Covid crisis is getting better or worse depends almost entirely on where you live. For Venktesh Shukla, a venture capital investor in the Bay Area and others in the Indian diaspora, the disconnect between the vaccine haves and have-nots has never been more stark. As his life in America edges ever closer to pre-pandemic normal, the crisis in his native India is growing daily.

    “I’ve been struggling for the last three to four days to figure out what to do,” Shukla told my colleague Kartikay Mehrotra. He described the “helpless” feeling, after he and dozens of other influential Indians in the U.S. tried — and failed — to figure out how best to help from abroad. “What they need in India, it’s not oxygen concentrators or even money. They need doctors and hospitals.”

    The dissonance on social media can be even more stark. New York software developer Aditya Mukerjee, wrote on Twitter that it’s the worst in the mornings and the evenings. “Both the US and India are awake and I can literally see Biden tweeting ‘Better days are ahead’ right next to a chart of India’s new daily caseload,” he posted last week.

    As Indians abroad worry about family and friends, the catastrophe also underscores the dangers of unequal access to vaccines. The “double mutation” coronavirus variant wreaking havoc in India has spread to at least 10 other countries. The verdict is still out on whether existing vaccines work against the strain.

    The global vaccination gap between rich and poor nations remains shockingly wide. Based on Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, at 1.04 billion, enough doses have been administered to inoculate almost 7% of the world’s population, but the richest countries are still being vaccinated 25 times faster than the poorest ones.

    Meanwhile, the data show that, globally, the pandemic is getting worse. Infection numbers have hit weekly highs driven in large part by rapidly growing caseloads in India, Brazil and other countries. The pace of death is also quickening—one-third of the world’s total 3 million Covid deaths have come in the last three months.

    The U.S. government has finally stepped up assistance to India, joining other countries and big global companies like Blackstone and Amazon in relief efforts. It’s a sobering reminder that to beat the pandemic, we need better days ahead for everyone.

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