The root cause and impact of the out-of-control epidemic in India
Latest outbreak in India updated to 2021.05.22 14:39
Existing confirmed Cumulative healing
Cumulative deaths Cumulative diagnosis
295,525 26,289,290 cure rate
Cure rate Case fatality rate
Recently, the new crown epidemic in India has been out of control. According to reports, as of May 22, 2021 local time, a total of 26,289,290 cases have been confirmed in India (It should be noted that according to the estimates of the World Health Organization, the actual number of infections and deaths in India should be higher than official estimates. The data is 5 to 10 times higher). As the epidemic continues to worsen, the number of deaths from new coronary pneumonia has increased sharply, and there is a tendency to completely lose control:
The Indian virus strain has double mutations, but this is not the reason for the complete out-of-control of the epidemic
The double mutant strain of India B.1.617 has been detected in India since October 2020. Because it contains the E484Q and L452R mutations on the S protein, it is called the “double mutant” virus strain. Among the mutant strains in India, the proportion of B.1.617 is higher than that of the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 mutant strains. The proportion of B.1.617 has increased significantly since April, and the proportion has exceeded 70%. At present, many countries have banned flights to India. As of April 20, 2021, the double mutant strain of B.1.617 has been detected in more than 20 countries, and no major outbreaks similar to India have occurred in other countries. According to the epidemic trend suggested by genome data, the transmissibility of B.1.617 (Indian mutant) is comparable to that of B.1.17 (British mutant), and higher than that of B.1.351 (South African strain).
India’s death rate rose rapidly in April
Since April 16, the daily death toll has exceeded 1,300, reaching a new high in the daily death toll of the new crown epidemic. The trend corresponds to the gradual increase in the proportion of B1.617 in India. The daily death toll rose to nearly 2,000 around April 25. The main reason was a medical run. When the oxygen supply can’t keep up, many young patients may die. Originally, they only need a breath of oxygen to survive. What India needs most is oxygen. Oxygen is better than any medicine and can reduce the death of young patients.
Can India gain herd immunity through the pandemic
As of April 24, 2021, according to official data, the cumulative infection rate in India is 1.16%. It is estimated that it will take decades to reach the 70% level of herd immunity. At least millions of additional people will die. If this step is reached today after the 1918 pandemic, the government will definitely need to be held accountable by the people. Therefore, there is a very large uncertainty in the follow-up situation in India.
Does the India outbreak signal a vaccine failure
According to the study of the effect of mutant strains on serum neutralization and vaccines, it is found that samples of local vaccines and serum samples of recovered persons have reduced the neutralizing activity of B.1.617 by about 2 times. However, it is still effective against mutant strains. Although the total number of vaccines in India is second only to the United States and China, due to its large domestic population, the single-dose vaccination rate is 8.0%, and the vaccination rate is low. Not up to the level of stopping the spread of the epidemic. Although there is an epidemic of British mutants in Israel, the effect on vaccines has slightly decreased, but today the vaccination rate in Israel plus the protection rate from natural infections has reached more than 70%, declaring that the epidemic is under complete control. It shows once again that the current vaccine is still an important magic weapon to deal with the epidemic.
India’s follow-up epidemic trend
In March this year, India’s social control has been relaxed. Various traditional cultural festivals have been held many times, and social distancing measures have been completely abandoned. Moreover, when the epidemic first broke out, the government was not active enough to deal with the epidemic, and the epidemic would develop further within April. Even if it is to speed up vaccination now, it is too late, and a larger outbreak is still to come. Only by adopting extremely strict public health measures, the government taking a firm and correct response, and the people’s good cooperation, can we tide over the current crisis.
This inevitably makes people wonder. As a developing country with a large population, why did India take a turn for the worse when the epidemic control was better than that of the United States?
Let’s not answer this question for now, and think in the opposite direction: What are the commonalities of countries with better global epidemic control? Taking East Asian and Southeast Asian countries as examples, the epidemic situation is properly controlled and meets at least the following three characteristics:
First, the people believe in the government, and the masses cooperate with the government’s emergency measures such as face recognition and lockdown and isolation. The government has the power and the people believe in the government. This is very important. Especially in the case of a health emergency, materials are in short supply, and the fairness and efficiency of distribution directly determines the anti-epidemic effect.
Second, social culture advocates order, that is, collectivism takes precedence over individual freedom. The collectivist tradition has a far-reaching impact on East and Southeast Asian society, whether it is from Korea’s donations in response to the financial crisis, or to indirect assistance during the Southeast Asian financial tsunami, until today, the social order is stable in response to the epidemic, and the socio-cultural role is also very important.
Thirdly, at the individual level, the individual is self-interested, not selfish, and it is not about “swinging the pot” or engaging in nationalism at every turn. Therefore, the RCEP agreement was reached last year. All this is inseparable from the culture, philosophy, and governance of East and Southeast Asian countries.
Looking back at India, do ordinary people believe in the government? The common people believe more in “gods”, and people “don’t ask the common people, but the ghosts and gods.” It can be said that this is an important reason for India’s poor anti-epidemic effect in the past. Moreover, the capacity of the government is also limited. This is not only reflected in the shortage of infrastructure and medical and health conditions, but also in the fact that there are many political parties, and it is difficult for the ruling party to implement the concept of “life first, people first”.
Fourth, the relationship between order and freedom. India is known as the “religious museum”. There are many forms of religious customs. The number of people bathing in the Ganges River during the Big Pot Festival is as high as one million. This also poses a serious challenge to the government to control the epidemic.
Fifth, of course, it is the human factor. Whatever world view there is, there will be any methodology. One-sided emphasis on personal beliefs will inevitably lead to the inability to seek truth from facts in anti-epidemic work. The influence of the caste system in India is still deeply rooted, especially in the vast rural areas. Ordinary people go their own way, and the government’s appeal is quite limited. Because they believe in God and the afterlife, it is difficult for people to truly devote themselves to epidemic prevention. Coupled with the traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine emphasizing the concept of life cycle, social customs have obvious constraints on the anti-epidemic effect.
Fifth, India has not yet completed the construction of a modern state in a real sense. India has never achieved true unity before modern times. Without a strong political party and the leadership of the central government, it is difficult for various regions under the federal system to form a game of chess. Like many developing countries, India is facing development challenges and problems. At the same time, India has its particularities: it has a large population, belongs to a tropical region, has relatively weak government capacity, poor sanitary conditions, lagging in infrastructure construction, deep-rooted religious influence, and various problems clustering and stacking.
It cannot be ignored that the Bharatiya Janata Party itself has dual attributes. As a political party with a strong sect, religion and elections are the foundation of the Indian Party. Religious activities and election rallies lead to a large gathering of people, and it is the Indian Party government. It’s hard to control if you don’t want to. Therefore, whether the fight against the epidemic was not effective in the past, more than 300,000 people are infected every day. The tragedy is caused by a combination of factors.
The new crown epidemic is raging around the world. Health affairs are no longer confined to one country, and can even affect the lives of people all over the world. India has a large population and a vast territory. Once the epidemic situation is out of control, it will inevitably cause more to the surrounding area, the Asia-Pacific and the entire world. Negative impact, at present, there are at least the following four aspects:
First, the relationship between India and its neighbors in South Asia may deteriorate. India’s strategic culture is under the dual influence of Brahmin’s worldview and British colonialism. It not only believes in the principle of strong food for the weak, but also believes in inheriting the mantle of the British colonial empire. Since its independence, India’s South Asia policy has changed from Indiraism to The sway between Gujralisms is essentially regional hegemony, and the difference lies only in the degree of toughness and moderation. In the case of a large-scale rebound of the epidemic, India’s South Asia policy may become tougher, especially with regard to India-Pakistan relations, which is also consistent with the consistent performance of the Modi government since taking office.
Second, China-India relations and even the Asia-Pacific situation may add more uncertainty. As the two most populous developing countries in the world, China-India relations are by no means only those between neighboring countries, and have a decisive impact on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region. In the Doklam incident and the conflict in the Kalwan Valley, the Indian army took the initiative to provoke the situation on the Sino-Indian border since Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in December 1988 was the most tense situation. In the case of a large-scale rebound of the epidemic in the country, it is not ruled out that the Modi government will continue to pursue the “forward policy” on the Sino-Indian border issue, taking the opportunity to divert domestic attention. In addition, as Indian elites increasingly regard China as a strategic competitor, India’s “four-party security dialogue” mechanism vigorously promoted by the United States has shifted from being cautious to deliberately catering to it, making it “collectivized” and “militarized”. Although it is difficult for the four-party security dialogue to form a true alliance in the short term, India’s strategic choice will indeed affect the future direction of the mechanism to a large extent. If India aims to check and balance China’s influence and change from catering to boosting, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region may be challenged.
Third, the uncertainty in the relationship between India and European and American countries will increase. As mentioned earlier, India and the United States have common interests in dissolving China’s influence, which is also the internal driving force for the progress of the four-party security dialogue mechanism. However, India is not an ally of the United States, nor does it want to choose sides between China and the United States. It pursues more “strategic autonomy”. The demand for more influence in the Indian Ocean region also contradicts the US global strategy. In the context that the new crown epidemic is far from over, the differences between India and the United States may be further magnified. The main manifestations include but are not limited to: the Biden administration refuses to lift the export ban on the new crown vaccine raw materials; the Democratic Party has always been quite concerned about the intellectual property rights of Indian generic drugs. Weak words; the political correctness advocated by the Democratic Party runs counter to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s policy towards domestic Muslims, etc. Similar factors will also affect the relationship between India and European powers. Recently, the United Kingdom, the European Union and some of its member states have introduced policies to tilt some strategic resources to the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing cooperation with relevant countries. India There are broader prospects for cooperation in the field of digitalization and green cooperation, but India’s strategic autonomy is not entirely consistent with the European Union’s claims of maintaining maritime safety and freedom of navigation. In the case of a large-scale rebound of the epidemic in India, European countries do not have the ability to provide a large amount of anti-epidemic materials to India.
Fourth, the rebound of the epidemic in India will have a negative impact on the recovery of the global economy. In addition to the virus mutation caused by the out-of-control epidemic, India, as one of the world’s largest vaccine producers, will greatly restrict the supply of new crown vaccines. Since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, India has been engaged in “vaccine diplomacy”. As of March 22, 2021, it has provided more than 60 million doses of vaccine to 76 countries. With the country’s epidemic rebounding sharply and vaccine raw materials are constrained by people, India will not be able to provide a large amount of vaccine to other countries in the short term. This will make the situation worse for the less advanced countries still trapped in the epidemic. The epidemic will not go away for a day, and global personnel and supplies It is difficult to completely return to normal the flow of water. The downward adjustment of India’s economic expectations will also lead to a slowdown in the global economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook predicts that India’s GDP will grow by 12.5% in 2021. However, as the epidemic intensifies, this indicator is likely to further increase. Down. As the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of GDP, 17th in merchandise exports, 10th in imports, and 9th in net FDI inflows in the world, the expected decline in India’s economy will inevitably cast a shadow over the recovery of the world economy.
In today’s increasingly deepening globalization, the destiny of mankind is shared, life and health have formed a community, and it is impossible for countries to survive the new crown epidemic alone. “If you catch fire next door, you are in danger if you don’t save yourself.” India, as China’s largest neighbor in southwestern China, has close economic and trade relations with my country. Once the epidemic goes out of control, China will hardly not be affected. Therefore, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on April 22, “We are willing to provide necessary support and assistance for India to control the epidemic.” China’s statement is based entirely on goodwill, which is also in line with President Xi Jinping’s exposition on the community of human life and health. It is undeniable that the current political relations between China and India are still plagued by border issues, and there is a risk of cooling down, but there is a long history of non-governmental exchanges between the two sides, especially in medicine. It is not without precedent: in 2012, Kunming Medical University and the India-China Promotion Association reached an agreement. Consensus on medical exchange and cooperation; in December 2015, more than 200 grassroots medical staff from China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar participated in the first Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Health and Disease Control Cooperation Forum held in Dehong, Yunnan Province; 2016 In June, a delegation composed of the Guangdong Provincial Health Association and the Guangdong Chamber of Commerce in India visited the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in India, and the two sides had in-depth exchanges on Indian medical treatment; in July 2016, a 16-member Indian medical equipment procurement visit to China The delegation visited the China Medical Materials Association; in September 2017, eight doctors from Assam in northeastern India went to Kunming Medical University for visits and exchanges. In the context of increasing uncertainty in the prospects of bilateral political relations, it may be possible to consider the form of non-governmental assistance in the first place.