Wrong priorities mire India in pandemic

By Li Qingqing Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/8 14:15:39

An Indian health worker takes swab tests of a man working at KR Market, which reopens after five months of closure due to COVID-19 pandemic, in Bangalore, India, Sept. 1, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that India's confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed Brazil on Monday. This makes India the world's second worst hit country behind the US. However, many experts say India is not testing enough people and not properly recording many deaths, meaning the real numbers may be much higher, according to an AFP report.

The US and India, the two largest democracies in the world, rank first and second in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and they are also forerunners in terms of the impact of COVID-19 to their economies. India's rapidly worsening pandemic situation is now showing signs it will surpass the US.

This might be a great relief for US President Donald Trump - who has been attacked due to the US' embarrassing COVID-19 fight. Now Trump has one more reason to call Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "true friend."

India's medical treatment facilities cannot be compared with that of the US. But even with low levels of medical care, India lifted its lockdown as early as June. This triggered a huge novel coronavirus wave. Indian people have paid a heavy price for New Delhi's neglect of duty. 

Fighting COVID-19 and saving people's lives should have been India's top priority. But instead, New Delhi has been provoking its neighboring countries during this period, especially at the China-India border.

On Monday, the same day when India became the second worst hit country, the Indian army outrageously fired warning shots at Chinese border patrol soldiers who came to negotiate. This is a serious military provocation. New Delhi is now obsessed with extreme nationalism and provoking China.

By lifting the national lockdown and letting the coronavirus spread, New Delhi is not only giving up on its people, but it is also disrespecting other countries' achievements in the fight against COVID-19. This is seriously irresponsible for a state aspiring to be a world power. By provoking matters on the China-India border, New Delhi may want to divert people's attention away from domestic problems. This is a scam being pulled on the Indian people, which will only cause India heavy losses both at home and abroad.

India is increasingly dancing to the tune of Washington. It is even blindly following the US' steps in terms of the COVID-19 fight. New Delhi is only hurting itself and it has been reaping the bitter fruits that it itself sowed.

India is making serious mistakes in the virus fight, and it must work to correct them. The worsening epidemic situation, compounded by economic recession and an unstable border situation, could lead to political catastrophe for New Delhi.


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