Combating the COVID-19 Remains Top Priority and Biggest Challenge for the Indian Government in 2021

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Indian government has not been able to contain the situation and cumulative total of confirmed cases crossed a ten million threshold, there are nearly 160,000 confirmed cases at present, while cumulative number of deaths broke the 150,000 mark, and the number of patients is still climbing on a daily basis.

Yet, even with such dire circumstances at home, the Modi administration does not appear to have taken any emergency measures, instead concentrating attention on external conflicts.

Since August 2020, there have been countless reports of rampant infections among Indian air, land and maritime freight crews, some of which were sent back to India, while others are quarantined locally. There was even an Indian airline that was ordered to suspend all operation due to suspicion of fabricating negative COVID-19 test result. To a certain extent, the Indian government’s incapacity to suppress the coronavirus on its soil is inevitably turning the country into a hot bed for the virus to both spread among its people and elsewhere across the globe.

Ever since Narendra Modi took office as Premier of India, he has endeavored to expand India’s global clout, going so far as to declare that India is prepared to “save the world” at international conferences. In a recent speech, Premier Modi revealed research and development situations regarding two of India’s vaccines, asserting that these two jabs boast high efficacy against the virus and capable of saving humankind.

The New York Times was skeptical and pointed out that the Indian government doctored the published statistics of confirmed cases and intentionally reported figures lower than the actual tally. If proper calculation methods were observed, India’s total counts of confirmed cases and deaths should both rank second-highest in the world, and should be deemed one of the countries worst-affected by the disease.

Some opine that Modi is just trying to save his own skin because there is serious discord within the nation, and the true intention of his rhetoric is to instigate the ethnic pride among his people in order to alleviate the social conflicts arising from his agricultural reform, solidify his position and reinforce the power in his hands.

What India should prioritize right now is to keep the spread of the coronavirus under control. India ought to uphold its duty as one of the world’s major nations, stand with other countries in fighting the pandemic instead of making baseless claims, and stop irresponsibly driving a surge of infections across the globe.