Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has said that the second wave of COVID-19 that has hit India is “like a tsunami”. She squarely blamed the unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases to the recent state elections and religious festivals in the country.
India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
“This time around the second wave has hit like a tsunami. And the unfortunate part is it has not spared any part of our country,” Mazumdar said during a virtual panel discussion on global vaccine equity organised by One Share World.
“This time around both urban India and more frighteningly it is rural India that has also got infected because we did have a bunch of state elections and a number of religious festivals that have really, really added to this horrific surge,” she said.
India had assembly polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry in March and also there was a religious congregation in Haridwar during that time.
Because of the surge of the infection and this virus, it has created an enormous demand on hospital infrastructure.
“So hospital beds and oxygen, we don’t have enough human resources to manage the kind of numbers we’re seeing today. We don’t have enough medicines to treat patients with. We don’t have enough medical supplies of most types to deal with this pandemic,” she said.
“Above all, we don’t even have enough vaccines to vaccinate people fast enough,” she said adding that the enormity of the population makes it more challenging. She welcomed the global community coming forward to help India with COVID-19 assistance.