India’s Fight Against Covid 19: A Success Story

-- Sheza Mariyam, VII-B, India International School

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

In early 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was indiscriminately spreading around the world, the seeming ability of India, the second most populous country in the world (with 1.3 billion people), to contain the virus within its borders and keep the infection rates and mortality rates stable relative to population size was seen as a miracle. However, the miracle ended when the second wave hit India in April 2021, India became the first country to record more than 4.00,000 cases in a single day. The exponential rise in infection rates started on 28 April 2020 when 3,59,459 cases and 3,647 deaths were recorded- making India the second country with the greatest number of cases (over 20 million) and 25 percent of the world’s death rates.

Rather abruptly at its peak in mid-September of 2020, the cases started declining from 9,00,00 to 3,00,00. In the second week of February 2021, India barely reported 10,000 cases a day. On Tuesday, Delhi, a hotspot, did not record a single death for the first time in 10 months.

On 3rd January, the Drugs Controller General of India issued an emergency approval for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxine), for restricted use against covid-19, even though the phase-3 clinical trials were still going on.

The second wave that hit India in April 2021 was the so-called ‘double mutant’ strain, which proved far more transmissible and deadly than earlier strains. This rise came as a rude shock to a country that believed that it was winning the battle against the pandemic, and as the global leader in vaccine production was helping the rest of the world in their fight against the COVID-19 scourge.

The searing images of people gasping for breath and dying in India’s capital, New Delhi, because hospitals had run out of oxygen supplies was the result of a catastrophic failure of governance at all levels.

on 25 June 2021, a five-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court to audit oxygen consumption in New Delhi hospitals found that the Kejriwal government inflated, indeed ‘exaggerated’, its oxygen needs by more than four times during the 25 April to 10 May peak period of the second COVID-19 wave.

Mid-October 2021, India achieved a milestone. Using three vaccines: the locally produced Covishield and Covaxin and the Russian-made Sputnik V, India had successfully administered more than a billion COVID jabs since the vaccination program began on 16 January 2021. Altogether some 30 percent or 291 million of those eligible have been fully vaccinated, while about 707 million individuals have received their first dose. By the end of 2021, about a billion people were vaccinated, a truly unprecedented global achievement.

Disclaimer: Statements and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and written by them; the author is solely responsible for the content in this article. does not hold any responsibility for them.

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