Is politics getting in the way of India’s COVID response? | The Stream

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  • Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “Is politics getting in the way of India’s COVID response? | The Stream” – below is their description.

    This week India recorded the highest daily COVID-19 death toll of any country since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

    While there has been a decrease in the number of daily positive tests, challenges abound. A new threat is emerging – mucormycosis, or black fungus. Vaccine availability continues to be a problem, with less than 5 percent of the population fully vaccinated. And the virus is ravaging areas of rural India far from the reach of pleas for help on social media. Local journalists are reporting death on a massive scale and last week a viral video showed hundreds of bodies washed up on the banks of the Ganges River.

    In the background, a political war over the narrative is raging – something critics say may even be hampering the response. An elite anti-terrorism unit this week visited the New Delhi offices of Twitter, which were closed, after the social media giant attached misinformation labels to several tweets from ruling BJP party-affiliated accounts.

    The famous yoga guru Ram Kisan Yadav, aka Baba Ramdev, last week told his followers that modern medicine was “a stupid and bankrupt science”, underlining the extent of India’s misinformation problem. Baba Ramdev counts India’s most powerful politicians in the BJP as friends.

    In this episode, we look at where the second surge is having the most damaging impact and ask whether India can move beyond politics and free itself from the pandemic’s deadly grip.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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    India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. New Delhi is the capital.

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