Out of control? India desperate for oxygen as Covid-19 cases surge

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24

Hospitals are desperate for oxygen and crematoriums are overwhelmed. How can India's Covid-19 surge be brought under control? And has it sparked a confidence crisis after the government censored tweets critical of its crisis management?

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One month after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party passed a resolution hailing its leader for taming the coronavirus pandemic, over-crowded hospitals are now turning away patients as the nation breaks world records of new infections and deaths on a daily basis. Is it the fault of virulent new strains, or poor preparation and planning?

The public health crisis has now morphed into a crisis of confidence: how did it spin out of control? Why did authorities not cancel political rallies and religious festivals? Why did the government censor tweets, and what to make of reports that the chief minister of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, ordered a crackdown on hospitals that display signs saying they're out of oxygen? 

We ask our panel about foreign help, past plans to make India the world’s vaccine provider and whether there's any way to avoid another national lockdown - a grave decision in a nation where so many labourers depend on an open economy for their next meal. 

Produced by Alessandro XENOS, Tatiana REITER, and Imen MELLAZ.

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