As the pandemic continues to batter India, exposing its collapsing healthcare system, the international media is sounding alarm, and conveying the utter desperation of the situation in a way that the Indian mainstream media has largely failed to do.
For BBC, Yogita Limaye reported from the emergency room of one of Delhi’s Covid hospitals, showing how it was creaking standing under the weight of an “unfolding disaster”.
At another Delhi hospital, Sky News correspondent Alex Craford reported seeing “half a dozen” die in just a couple of hours while awaiting treatment. “People are begging for oxygen” the British TV news reporter said, showing people lying on stretchers outside the hospital’s casualty ward, some breathing from oxygen tanks.
The Guardian detailed the capital’s oxygen crisis in a and published a scathing listing the “mistakes” made by the Narendra Modi government in tackling an “out of control” pandemic.
“The Indian prime minister suffers from overconfidence in his own instincts and pooh-poohs expert advice,” the British paper argued, while highlighting the lack of vaccine preparedness despite Modi’s claims. It also pointed out how an “unmasked” Modi held huge rallies in the current election season and how millions of Indians were seen taking a dip in the Ganges at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. “Mr Modi has put the onus on state governments to clear up his mess,” it adds.
The Economist the country’s trajectory leading up to the “catastrophic” second wave of the pandemic, stating that Modi’s “slowness” to respond to an “avalanche of grief” had left even his supporters perplexed.
Speaking about disturbing visuals of patients and their families scrambling for help that have become commonplace, the piece questioned why the Indian government was underprepared for the second wave.
The New York Times how Covid patients in the capital are left to “gasp for breath” for want of oxygen and how hospitals are sending out SOS as oxygen supply diminishes. The paper also stated how despite surging infections, the BJP and other parties continued to hold “mass rallies” with unmasked crowds.
Meanwhile, 20 patients in critical care at Jaipur Golden Hospital, Delhi, died last night after a drop in oxygen pressure, the Indian Express . In the morning on Friday, 25 critically ill patients had at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital under similar circumstances.