India is in danger. This is not new or surprising news to many, as the abrupt surge in COVID-19 cases has been recently prominent in the mainstream media. 24,492 new cases on the 15th of March had already instilled a sense of wariness amongst Indian citizens; and this rapidly increased to an alarming 386,555 cases as of the 29th of April. 

Travel bans have unsettled many Indian citizens, including overseas citizens. With Joe Biden restricting travel from India to the US due to the COVID outbreak, and India becoming a ‘red list’ travel ban state in the UK, many separated from their loved ones and families are becoming increasingly anxious. 

As these travel bans will be in place for perhaps a longer time than anticipated, Indian citizens grow increasingly worried about the health of their families, and will not be able to join their families in the prospective mourning of a loved one. As per the BBC, crematoriums are operating around the clock and expanding into parking lots to add more capacity.

The sheer number of people losing their lives in this wave of the virus is extremely distressing for the alarmed Indian citizens; particularly with the ever increasing death toll. The shocking number of total deaths (208,000) looms over India, the once colourful country now draped in black; the raging funeral pyres melting away the tears of thousands of families. 

This event has not only left India distraught, it has similarly left the countries that relied on India for vaccines troubled. India is a critical supplier of vaccines, and is facing its own complications in rolling out enough vaccines for its own 1.4 billion citizens. These apparent struggles allow tensions to rise abroad, particularly in Africa. According to the New York Times, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, ‘suspended exports of nearly all 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine’, which was being produced by the Serum Institute of India. Health officials had been relying on these critical vaccine shipments from India, which are now to be used in India itself. 

However, this begs the question - are vaccinations a means of saving India from this crisis? The debilitating battle against COVID-19 is ongoing despite many more vaccines being produced. This demand for India’s pharmaceutical industry to increase the production of vaccines is due to the efforts to vaccinate as many Indians as possible. However, it could be argued that these efforts are in vain, as they have been outmatched by the rate at which this virulent virus is devastating the country.