India has over 2.5 million confirmed cases with 49,980 deaths from Covid-19
India might soon become the worst hotspot for Covid-19 infection in the world. The country seems to be following the footsteps of two nations – US and Brazil – who are now leading the worst-hit country list for coronavirus, both led by populist leaders.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delivering his Independence Day speech, said India was ready to mass produce Covid-19 vaccines when scientists give the go-ahead and that his government will launch a national project to roll out health identities for each citizen. He identified health and economic self-reliance as key priorities for his government.
However, rights activists and the Indian opposition have criticized Modi's handling of the pandemic, accusing him of announcing an abrupt lockdown that left the poor in the lurch and forced thousands to walk or jostle for space on buses and special trains to reach home in fear of getting infected.
According to the Indian Ministry of Health on Sunday morning, India has over 2.5 million confirmed cases with 49,980 deaths from Covid-19. Although the country says it has a recovery rate of over 71%, new infections in India have reached 64,000 a day.
On August 5, Narendra Modi attended a foundation laying ceremony for a Hindu temple, even though his interior minister had contracted Covid-19.
Amit Shah, who is Modi's top lieutenant and India's interior minister, was admitted to a private hospital near Delhi just four days after attending a cabinet meeting at which the prime minister was present.
With rising numbers of new infections, Maharashtra is now the worst-hit Indian state with 5,847,54 confirmed cases, followed by Tamil Nadu with 3,321,05, and Andhra Pradesh with 2,818,17, according to Indian government data.
The United States, which tops the list of countries worst-hit by the pandemic, has recorded over 5.3 million confirmed cases, with deaths exceeding 170,000, and President Donald Trump's handling of the virus outbreak also continues to be widely criticized.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Trump created a media storm when he retweeted a video in which Stella Immanuel, a doctor from Houston, Texas, said hydroxychloroquine was a cure for Covid-19 and that masks were unnecessary.
Similarly, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly played down risks of what he has called the "little flu," saying he would not be seriously affected, until he was tested positive for Covid-19 in July.
According to worldometers, Brazil comes after the US with 3,317,832 confirmed cases and 107,297deaths from the virus.
It would seem that all three countries--India, , Brazil, and the US-- with their populist leaders, are definitely and defiantly surging ahead in the spread of coronavirus, with rising case numbers and deaths.