tv Check-in Deutsche Welle April 30, 2021 2:30am-3:00am CEST
discovery. subscribe to the documentary. india is in the throes of the ultimate covert catastrophe recording more infections per day just short of $400000.00 at the moment officially than any other country since the pandemic began with hospitals at breaking point forced to turn patients away and oxygen running out the death rate climbs relentlessly sick people and their families search desperately for help and for answers how did it come to this is the government to blame coronavirus in india out of control.
and. welcome to to the point it is a pleasure to welcome our guests colleague who works in our department and says accountability must follow this disaster and court is also with us here in the studio he is professor of public health at epidemiology billions shot at a hospital and she says the devastating situation in india should remind us that the covert 1000 pandemic is far from over and that we need to make all efforts to control the spread of the disease on a global level and finally it's wonderful to have with us joining us remotely from delhi and cheetah. she is correspondent. in india
and she says the indian government's blamed and mismanagement of the pandemic has unnecessarily endangered millions of innocent lives. let me begin by asking you. i know that you yourself lost a family member in this wave of the pandemic so can you tell us a little bit about the current situation as you're experiencing it. just. by husband's father and i think. he would have or else. he was a senior officer of the government to get the latest from what you. see in the to a government. which is also in asians. who work for the government but he did not get it. and by that i mean going to face. them.
so but that's the situation at least you got a baby right now couldn't situation this. distance oxygen they don't eat i mean on social media and. my grandmother was outside. that is level of oxygen fighting and it was not even yet you know. in the house or in where or. that's a bad situation isn't any i get is it unable to get access to. that number that i mentioned 400000 new infections a day it's always emphasized that these numbers are probably incorrect and that the in official tally is much higher can you take a guess at what it could be. according to the only suspect i
think if and he is probably somebody right now i think the government needs 204 if. he is saying it's millions. if not given that. to me in that. order i mean when it's one of 2 months and i get the funds if it gets to me this problem is that a lot of that. because i'm. not in. a lot of the you know they won't. even be able to do the funeral of my other adult. don't that's right although it may be in the norm. and i'm sure that it is this modest opinions have. just so many people who are into what i'm getting the right now even actually i'm an elitist each
a statement if you like. and i liked the idea. and. another big issue is that. if you have more reports from we also also getting in what is. the this is like a lot of us do not want to. thank you michael. thank you very much. let me go to paris and ask him what you're hearing from home things of things as bad as it can be and just to give you an idea of how. at the start of the week you have the federal government telling people in delhi to where mosques sitting in their homes imagine that you cannot trust the air you breathe in your own home in the national capital of the biggest democracy on the planet a country that is one of the top 10 economies in the world and that really gives you just a bit of a hint of the magnitude of the disaster and the what disaster of an. it doesn't
even cover what is happening in india it is objectives combined and still short it is a tragedy it's a horror story it's a disaster it's an embarrassment and it's too short of describing what is happening to your heart. just to point to the undercounting of deaths in the manner in which the described that was happening last year as well i have friends who suffered from going to give you an example a friend of mine was at a climate auto for his uncle's funeral last year and last year climate auto workers were saying we have never cremated so many bodies in one day and exactly what uncle tom mentioned if you want the death registered as a covert 1000 deaths which is to say it says that on the death certificate it means the state takes over and you can't even touch the body or. your loved one you cannot wave them a final goodbye which is strange because now that is what is happening or to matter so a strong incentive there to not register cove 8900. dr kurt let me ask you
about the discussion around this new very yet of the virus be 1617 there's a lot of discussion but apparently no clear answers on whether this is responsible for the surge we're seeing in india this variant apparently is not only more contagious that possibly also can dodge the immune systems of people who have already been vaccinated known as a breakthrough infection do you think that's what's behind this 1st of all it's important to understand that in the course of a virus infection variants are developing so if many many people are infected that's exactly what we see in india right now there is a high chance that the virus mutates so there's a new very and so i think we're not talking about one very and india has several variants right now which makes its situation even more complex and it's also defeat
. really analyzed the data precisely so how much more does it spread how much more dangerous is it does it give a more severe disease or is it allowing even people who are in munich and steve to be reinfected so that's very difficult if you have a disaster in a country like how can you do research while people are dying on every corner so to say so we have to be account but be very careful in looking at the data and also seeing whether disston also applies to other settings because a variant spreads in a specific setting it when so it so to say because it's spread small likely doesn't mean it's spread things to not necessarily so we have to be watching but i think right now the situation needs our direction and hopefully that we can solve this spread to soon i want to come back to some of the facts about what we know what please yeah yeah i just want. a lot of people. in the region not.
india and. you know what. you don't know. that. i love my food a lot of. so this is what did not need me let me ask you. because. correct me if i'm wrong but until not too long ago it looked like india was actually doing pretty well locked down and it absorbed the 1st wave of the virus and maintained a pretty low official death rate what went wrong. what did a lot of. the 1st one if the government is very well. you have a higher rate so even if they actually. issue what they don't get to make what they
will be a lot of. a lot of the. adults at the even if they need . they do need oxygen and if the government does not need. that. back in states the other issue is is this what you. meant does not. give it doesn't. it i just it is. a known and it's i think the government so there have been all those things not you know not if they don't. do not the same back in other countries that india themselves. and now the action the government eats not enough in the prime minister of india was. in need but he gave a speech yesterday he did say that even in the state it was a question or say the big devil of democracy well wait even why would you and other
people in the situation the so many who have. thank you very much and i want to come back to that in just a moment but there is let me come to you because you're opening statement talked about the need for accountability and i'd like to talk a little bit about accountability on the part of whom and for what let's take a look at these pictures that were taken 2 weeks ago during the festival of mayla this is the largest religious pilgrimage in the world i'm hoping we can guess there we go there we have the pictures the largest religious pilgrimage in the world millions congregate in the city of hard to walk not a lot of social distancing going on there. many say this is simply let their guard down citizens of course did let their guard down but then you must understand that the has a central place in their villages and the cultural life of india what needs to be
pointed out here is that this particular 100 was actually showed you. it was brought forward on the advice of astrologers that is how important the vice of astrologers is for all these government all over the advice of scientists and just to go back to the double mutation that the response to the 1st reports of this double mutation emerged in october last year. and the camilla went to her in germany for 2 and a half months you have these rituals on a daily basis and these are people who come from all corners of india and then go back to those corners of india just to give you an idea of how important this is and how infectious and what a super spreader event this is the former king and queen of nepal who visited camilla went back to her father they were diagnosed with go over just last week that is how much of a super spreader event this was and the question needs to be asked why was this allowed to go ahead why was this brought forward by a year on the advice of astrologers at a time when the 1st reports of
a double nutrition had to merge in india in october and then you generally you have the prime minister saying to the world economic conference india has done a fantastic job fighting back the covert pandemic using people centric approach looking at the visuals coming out of just barely there is nothing people centric about. to be escort should prime minister modi have seen this health crisis coming as we've heard from. he was saying not too long ago that the country was in great shape now we are hearing doctor here colleagues begging the prime minister for help for oxygen for medicines for support should he have not seen that the country's medical system would hit a wall well. we know that scientists since months and months and months we noticed this can happen this can happen anywhere else in the world to this is specific setting in india with that many people housing situation close activities
so it's not a surprise that this disaster right now is happening and yes the position should be aware of this and should have been aware of this and should be advising the public to react differently and not allowing such supposed presidents and now obviously it's much much too late and any country with the best health care system in the world would not. managing that many people getting sick and that many people dying that's just not possible for any health care system and particular in india right now it's really dramatic and we have to hopefully get international support of the situation can be stabilized talk to us a little bit about the indian health care system i was looking at some statistics and apparently india spends a little over one percent of its gross domestic product on health how does that compare to other emerging economies and also to what the w.h.o. recommends in terms of public health spending well you always can do more for sure
and each country is well aware to tell it is an important factor for its population but as i said if you have that disaster that many people getting ill and sick and severely sick and dying you could spend 20 percent as would not be enough that's really a disaster and so that's what is so important that we understand on the global level also in germany that this can happen and we have to be very aware of ways to avoid this. because you were talking about bringing forth bringing forward on the basis of. recommendations and so on even as the country's health system was wobbling and doctors were issuing those appeals that i mentioned prime minister modi himself was holding large political rallies at which he declined to wear a mask is he the super spreader in chief here has been called a super spreader by the vice president of the indian medical association the
collective of doctors in the country but to be fair it wasn't just prime minister more the individual rallies in the 4 states and the one you're going to have a tree but that of going to the polls it was all the political parties as well and here in lies the big dilemma i remember in the us elections president joe biden then candidate joe biden was holding carlie's that is something you can't do in individual people. and drive up in the cause and even even if they could afford those guards would have millions of dollars coming into political rallies was just physically not doable what was required was creative thinking and imagination on the part of the government and the part of the election commission of india to try and say look this is an extraordinary situation we need to find some way in which we can do this that conversation was never happened so the super spread of events yes each political rally from each party was responsible for what the spread of this virus but as the leader of the country with 74 percent popularity the country
looks to you for leadership where was that leadership especially when you were not even wearing masks at massive rallies that balkanized in all these states and. we just heard from the mention of the us election campaign in fact if we look at prime minister modi's denialism and magical thinking it doesn't seem all that different from some of what we heard from former president donald trump in the u.s. or from boris johnson prime minister in britain. but things have gone so much worse in india why is that. the thing numbered in you is that right now the government is looking for reasons to dive in the mind of the people at the end of each looking at it. is. meant. to give the full meaning election day or 2 into that you have
a religious gathering and 2 if you want releases in just. a few. i think i'm not sure what melissa to say that the government is still a national government and elections or is. it ok to want what's happening so. a minister of a country like india should have known he should have actually asked. him why invest it in the long run i mean he actually leaves money there was a even if i'm given. money where did that money call it was no is being what i think i know is in medicaid and there needs to be a system will change it again. i think it is the question. is if it will come back probably the government let me ask paris whether he thinks people are going to call for it. and also you have both made it clear that the
impact of this crisis is being felt not only by the poorest as during the 1st wave of covert but by the middle class as well will there be a backlash against the government that could make itself felt politically do you think you talked about accountability do you think they will demand accountability by at the polls i mean everybody who's dying is the moment accountability even if they're not articulating it in the far from for the polls is the only place our think in the present day and where accountability can be demanded. the next major polls in the state of the provision about 8 months i believe that is going to be the litmus test for whether people remember and here's the thing about him that this comes from my experience as having been born there and brought up then having worked there as a journalist in india you have to dust yourself of get up and live the next day
and in 8 months that's a lot of days and 2020 for the next general election when more these stands for reelection potentially is is a long way off. internally that these calls for accountability potentially be forgotten in the months in between and you are talking about a country where the b.g.p. government the ruling party has a well oiled election bushy nearly a well oiled perception machine living on social media and apply and media and absent opposition the opportunities are rife for this government to swing the narrative in another month or so in the leading up to the 1st polls in 2022 in the british so i really don't know if that accountability be delivered at the ballot box but i really think that the people of the country need to think if they will not hold the government accountable for this when the government expects patients
to carry their own oxygen cylinder and come into a hospital for treatment if this doesn't turn the tide or force people to demand accountability i don't know what will. let us now talk about whether there is also accountability to be demanded from the international community and the fact is as the situation spirals out of control in india the 1st wave of medical aid from the e.u. and the united states is now beginning to reach the country ventilators oxygen and the raw materials for vaccines are trickling in but as spirits just mentioned for many the help comes to wait. once a parking lot this crematorium is now the final destination for hundreds of victims of covert 19. are n.g.o.s goes to the homes of victims of covert 19 who died in quarantine and brings them here to be cremated the government only counts covert
1000 related deaths the victims who die in a hospital and all others are unaccounted for. well the pyres burn day and night help from around the world is on the way. in new delhi ventilators and other medical supplies arrive from abroad. elsewhere tanks full of oxygen rushed through the night for patients and desperate need. german chancellor angela merkel says it's just the beginning. of above all else we will see what we can do to help india we are now working at full speed to see to what extent we can bring oxygen producing plants there. all of europe is behind this for health workers in the countries overwhelmed hospitals that help can't come soon enough. what do i do. what do i do because these people came on whatever support we can they're trying to organize a big sell their daughter. on the front lines against covert 19 doctors and patients
are measuring time and breaths not days or weeks. doctor courts india is actually the world's vaccine powerhouse it makes 60 percent of the world's vaccines and it's home to major manufacturers including the serum institute which is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world yet the pace of vaccination has been quite sluggish vaccines are now being diverted for domestic use vaccines that otherwise would have gone to africa so 2 questions do we have a possible domino effect here if those vaccines aren't going where and secondly why is it that india actually hasn't gotten the wrong materials needed to make vaccines because they're being held back for example by the united states very good question important to understand it's a global pandemic pandemic is on the global level if we want to control it we need
to vaccinate people as quickly as possible everywhere in the world including india of course it is nada. reasonable to hold back any material if you say ok my country 1st need to fax in a my people it's short sighted to because this will come back in the very end that is not being addressed by this vaccine on the market so we need to modify the vaccine and so on we need to make sure the production signs are all over the world including india and that can be used locally to vaccine as many people as possible so it's really dramatic we all speak about global health the importance of global health but if we have a global health crisis exactly that does not really walk well and. we saw that report help is now trickling into india if you listen to what european and u.s. leaders have been saying since the pandemic began there's been a lot of lip service paid to the idea that no one is safe till everyone safe but the reality on the ground is that many nations have take taken nation 1st strategy
do you really think that's changing. i'm going. to hell is going in and and a lot of missions are yeah. well if the situation is such a new variant even a lot of. the indian government is not anything like it or not to pay for this i know i'm now. thinking that. it's an. infection that's played a lot of. another issue is that. another issue that we think is that the vaccines. that the vaccine defeat or to even trying to have a bad thing to somebody that we were trying to show a little unique you have a lot of that money in export and now the development you just i mean this was a hard look in for 3. months
i'm afraid i'm going to have to stop you there thank you so much one half sentence is it too late are we seeing this spiral out of control now i think it is too late it's going to get worse before it gets better thank you very much thanks to all of you for being with us thank you 2 and q so in the daily thanks to both of you and thanks to our viewers see you send me a real. name
a crossroads remain passive britain only. be joining the e.u. not the us a question is dividing the country and entire families in the run up to the elections the debate is heating up. coughlin's quest for independence. focused on. the many minutes on g.w. . the the all of the. people have to say matters to us. that's why we listen to the stories reporter every weekend on d w india's coronavirus in prices. i d w
a new special will look at the drastic situation in dallas and the impact of the triple mutation on the country how can the rest of the wells how work can be done for the people and how can india bring the situation under control a special edition of d w news on the coronavirus crisis in india starts today at 11 u.c.c. on d w. in the art of climate change. the islamists are. much more suited to. what endears do they have for their future of. g.w. dot com for their service to the men can give us a clue to the term. play
. play play play play. this is the w. news line from but brazil becomes the 2nd country to officially cost 400002 over 1000 deaths experts on d.-day the death toll could remain high for months as a country heads towards into hospitals operating x. only a capacity as some areas have loose interest churches also coming. up to 100 .