tv Inside Story LINKTV April 20, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT
anchor: these are the top stories. after three weeks of witness and expert testimony, jury deliberations have begun in the trial of the former police officer accused of killing george floyd. activists are rallying in front of the minnesota courthouse calling for the conviction. the governor says protesters have a right to be angry, but demonstrations cannot be allowed to descend into chaos. >> we must acknowledge two truths. we cannot allow civil unrest to descend into chaos.
we mt protect life and property. but we also must understand very clearly; if we don't listen to those communities in pain and those people on the streets, many of whom were arrested for speaking a fundamental truth, that we must change, and we will be right back here again. anchor: alexey navalny has been moved to a prison hospital. his doctor says he could be near death. authorities say his condition is satisfactory. the kremlin critic is on a hunger strike of what he says is a lack of medical treatment. a premier soldier has been killed. fighting has escalated in recent weeks undermining a cease-fire. russia backs the separatists. moscow has rejected calls to pull back troops, saying it is free to deploy troops within its own territory. that you and says major indicators and impacts of climate change worsened in 2020. its latest report binds last
year was one of the three warmest ever recorded. millions of more people were displaced by extreme weather, and the effects on the global food supply chain was further impacted by covid-19 restrictions. cuba has marked the end of the castro era with the transfer of power to a new leader. he has been president since 2018. the secession marks the end of six decades. you are up-to-date with the headlines. mourners coming up, right after inside story.
>> india is the world's biggest vaccine maker, but days of covid-19 infections have forced it to delay exports. at hospitals are under strain and cases are rising. so, how will the government bring it under control? this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program. just one month ago, india declared an end game to the pandemic. infections were falling. health minister heat praise on the prime minister as well as the exports of vaccines to developing nations. now, the world's second-biggest population is recording 300,000 new cases every day.
that is more than the first wave last year. hospitals are buckling under pressure. the region is going into a weeklong curfew around new delhi. scientists say mass gatherings are fueling a spread of a new variant. we will bring in our guests in a moment. first, this update. >> india is in the grip of a second wave of covid-19 and nowhere is that being felt more than in its hospitals. there are shortages of beds, oxygen and venison. doctors say decide -- they see a change in who is being admitted. >> what we are seeing, this is all anecdotal, there are younger patients who are being admitted into hospital. and they are more sick than the type of disease that young patients usually have, which is mild-to-moderate. reporter: like many indian states, they are recording their
highest number of cases. leader announce the restrictions. >> we don't want to take them into a place where patients are lying in hospital corridors. after carefully considering and analyzing the situation, the government feels it is important to impose a six-day lockdown. reporter: india reported to 75,000 new cases on monday. that is the highest daily tally. time to say a new variant with a double mutation might be driving up mutations. >> in most cases we have seen one area of the virus mutating. in this case, we have two separate mutation sites, which is really concerning. as you know, every time we have a mutation, we are worried about increased transmissibility, increased chance of death, lack
of ability of our vaccines to work. reporter: despite the rising cases, political and religious gatherings are continuing in many places. last week, 3 million pilgrims bathed in the river, and millions more voted in local elections. >> i think the guard was let down, not just by indians, but by indian leaders. massive election rallies were held, and subsequently, the massive hindu festival is contribute into the massive surge. in reporter: in one city to crematorium's are full. with a new variant, india faces many more difficult days ahead. >> the government is limited
exports. the vaccine maker delayed the shipment to lower and middle income countries. the ceo has urged to live the embargo. the indian government is now rushing to import vaccines. let's bring in our guests. a global coordinator for the people's health movement and professor at the school of health system studies at the tat institute of social scientists. from bangkok, a member of the international bioethics committee. and the assistant professor of government at georgetown university. a warm welcome to you all. how do we know if the new double
mutation coronavirus in india might be behind this fueling of the record surge of cases in the country? >> yes, of course. we speak from statistics and observation. we have observed in the past one month or so that the transmission has increased rapidly. the new strain has so many variations. if you just speculate, if you look at it from the younger population, the younger population mobilizes more. that is one of the contributing factors. also, the new strain as of now, we are observing it is not fully detected on our tests. it tends to get dropped off and we miss it. this mutation does play a role
in the escalated, rapids transmission. of course. anchor: i saw you nodding quite a bit. >> i don't think india's government is keen to open up to the fact that there is an indian variant. after the other variance. it is that case of vaccine nationalism gone wrong. i think that is a cause of great concern anchor: how close is the health system in india to a breaking point? >> it is very stressed. some of the southern states, who did face the brunt in the first wave, have been better prepared.
you can make that out by best prices of oxygen. some of the large hindi speaking states, where the weight is heading for the first time, more than 10,000 numbers per day, they are reeling. their hospital capacity was overwhelmed even earlier. i am not going to attribute all of this to the mutant, which is in some extent in some areas. you can see in some states the mutant has not made its presence. the mutant is one factor. there is also a general factor around very weak public health management, and the failure to anticipate the second wave and sudden relaxation. last october, the government announced they were going to set
up 160 hospitals. it started in october [indiscernible] than the cases started dropping. now we are rushing again to catch up. because of that trust we had. we could have used that for better preparation, and we did not. anchor: india has pledged to raise monthly production of its vaccine about tenfold, to nearly 100,000 -- 100 million doses. given what you are seeing, that even possible? >> i am not worried about production as much as i am worried about the transmission and mortality. we were the highest number of
producing vaccines. the complacent period affected the entire scenario. initially, we were rapidly exporting vaccines. now with the emergency approval of the sputnik v, which is going to start mass productions in india by the end of this month, going by the statistics, we have produced more than 120 million vaccine doses. production is not going to be an issue. it will be difficult, but it is attainable and possible. i am more worried, about the mortality and mobility of the second wave. anchor: while this is going on and infections are soaring,
politicians are continuing to hold huge rallies for the state elections. if the government not worried that these could make things much worse? >> i really think they have been caught napping, cut unaware -- caught unaware. the good thing between september and march, they really relaxed, did not make the preparations. i think we are seeing that they are going ahead with the regular election campaign, which is not realistic by any account, but clearly the government thought it would get away. modhi at a very big election calendar, and he was planning to continue. my general sense is that the government conveyed a sense of complacency, so it is ultimately culpable for people taking the situation very casually. anchor: how concerning is it to
see these massive political rallies and religious festivals ongoing at such a dire time? >> it is a terrible scenario to watch. which should have been more careful. i want to take you back to vaccines. [indiscernible] we were the world's largest vaccine supplier. today we are supplying about 4.3 million doses per day. but, we are giving close to 4 billion doses per day. at this rate, we will be running out of vaccines very soon. we need more deployment, to 10 million doses per day. if we want to do anything about
the third wave. we are far behind. the government has asked for public financing, for being able to double its supply. over competently promising. the government is also licensing six more companies to start manufacturing production for all of this to happen to start production, it's going to take close to three months. the whole part of the second wave will be over. that is the reason why we are the greatest exporter.
[indiscernible] the stepping up of manufacture is an issue. new information is a real problem. the indian and south african government has pushed a waiver. we are not going to be able to veto the targets. [indiscernible] anchor: i'm sorry to interrupt you. i want to ask to expand. your talking about the institute of india. the serum institute of india is the world's largest maker of vaccines, and the head of the institute has asked joe biden on
twitter to lift the u.s. embargo on exporting raw materials needed to make covid vaccines. that you has also tightened restrictions. how much is that having an impact on the manufacturing of vaccines in india? >> it has a huge impact. the embargo in itself is going to play a huge role in helping us, and aiding us to ramp up the production of vaccines. that is the plan reason why he chose to tweet about such a sensitive topic. even biden should realize that at this juncture, we should put aside our political differences and help each other in combating this pandemic outsourcing and in sourcing raw materials is going to help us enhance our production. as the doctor mentioned, by
september, i said i am not worried about production. i am worried more about transmission. that does not defy the fact that we need to ramp up production as well. right now, we are vaccinated 45 years and older with comorbidities and frontline workers. the current strain that is transmitting in india affects the younger population more. we need to shift our focus and not completely be oblivious to this young population. this virus has been affecting the younger population with as much aggression as was the previous virus affecting the older population we see people with very significant changes in people requiring oxygen and ventilators much more during the entire campaign, the younger population has been sidelined because we were following the
trend of the previous virus. we need to update the trend. row materials are directly were fortunate. it is a very valid and significant point which a nation should consider. anchor: the fact that india, we are talking more about imports than exports. the fact that the government has taken action to open the doors for vaccine imports and to fast-track emergency approvals does that speak to how much pressure the government is under? >> this is it primarily a
headline. this approach to public policy has been exposed, because of course, it is not just this government. previous governments have not built the health care infrastructure. and now we are reaping what has been sown in the past. what this government is doing, it did not enter into agreements with moderna, pfizer, even sputnik. now we have a situation where this emergency of people with sputnik, there are probably other foreign vaccines as well, as well as the other private initiatives in india. it just seems like putting the stable after the horse. it seems too little too late. you can see that headline management comes across as not the best way of implementing public health policy. anchor: how big a problem in india is the issue of vaccine hesitancy, and has it so far
played a significant role when it comes to the very sluggish vaccine rollout throughout the country? >> i think this is also a very important question. by vaccine hesitancy, one means [indiscernible] india's first problem is not that. it is a certain type of access and awareness. the more vulnerable people are, the more at risk, the sanitation worker, the fish vendor, vegetable vendor, the less likely they are to go and get themselves vaccinated. usually we have strong public health outreach. here, because of this, the actual pickup will not be the most vulnerable. [indiscernible]
that is the number one problem. that is the problem of hesitancy, because of a high degree of denial that has taken place, because of the law & order approach to public health management we are seeing. that really has been a big problem for people coming forward. to the extent that over here it is a greater problem, for migrant workers, for people who are at some point going to face more exposure. there is a big problem on the demand side also. at this point in time, availability is also lower.
otherwise we should be seeing overcrowding. we should see that the public sector [indiscernible] nowhere near [indiscernible] the earlier speaker said there is a need to expand to a lower age group. we have done headline managing. anchor: the government has announced that all adult indians will be eligible for the vaccine from may. do you foresee that this will significantly change the course of things in india? will this change how things are going? >> as much [indiscernible] i will not agree it will significantly change the course. i would like to see on international television for getting your two shots will not make you a superhero. you can still contract the virus, you can still transmit it. in a place like india where
coverage is limited. outreach programs need to be really vibrant and rapid in order to cover the entire population. let's say that a person is vaccinated, and he gets a dramatic infection. all the more likely he can transmit it to nonvaccinated people. more than half of the population is believing that they are superheroes with two shots of the vaccine. unless the awareness is spread, and a great tribe is conducted, the economic strata of the population i do not see making any changes, but in the lives of people who are vaccinated, they will be safe from contracting to serious manifestations of els -- the illness. if i talk about the tire --
entire expanse on a huge level, no. it will not. anchor: if the government in india taking steps to expand local production capacity, and if so, what are they doing? >> one of the panelists mentioned the law & order approach. when you see the lockdowns. the fos of the government is to leave issues of production to the private sector or martine national corporations. the government wants to work with the private sector, but it is not the main player when it comes to production. it is also unclear how much money is going to make available , and what is feasible given the economic situation.
the government, after saying for several weeks that it is not going to lower the age requirements, it is suddenly decided that in a couple of weeks, anyone could get it, regardless of the age. it seems the government is making policy on the fly, not based on any demand and supply calculations, and not necessarily based on actual plans, grounded in the scientific realities we face. anchor: one quick follow-up custom. what are some of the other big challenges facing the government, when it comes to the shortages? >> i think the real issue is production, in the next three months, is probably going to be ramped up. as the panelists have mentioned, what is going to happen is by then, the second wave will have
come to an end, and we will enter another phase of the pandemic, in india, where perhaps the question now is, can we prevent a third wave? i think that is the realistic situation at this. at the same time, trying to mitigate the second wave as much as possible for aggressive vaccinations. anchor: we have run out of time. thank you so much all of our guests. thank you for watching. you can see this in all of our programs anytime by visiting our website, al jazeera.com, or our facebook page. you can also join the conversation on twitter. bye for now.
>> from the al jazeera london broadcast center, to people in thoughtful conversation. >> with no host and no limitations. >> the pandemic exposed injustice in our societies. >> part two. >> in hospitality, we have protected these men who are violent. >> studio b, unscripted. on al jazeera. >> a three year investigation