Covid In India, by Jayant Bhandari

India is not a nation where things normally run all that, and throwing Covid-19 on top makes things that much more gruesome. From Jayant Bhandari at acting-man.com:

Scavengers Out in Full Force

I have just returned from a visit to my family in India. It was hard to escape. To get to the US from India, I needed a COVID test. The Indian government has seriously restricted who can provide COVID testing, treatment, and vaccination. Private doctors and hospitals that are not approved face brutal legal consequences if they provide COVID treatment.

 

India’s experience with the COVID pandemic was particularly unpleasant… [PT]

Emergency powers were centralized early last year in the hands of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He gave himself direct control over the bureaucrats of the states, making local governments largely impotent and dependent on him.

In their supreme wisdom, government bureaucrats concluded that because the prefix “COVID-” exists in treatment, vaccination, and testing, they must all be performed at the same place. For my test, I sat in a petri dish of COVID, with those coming out positive sitting right next to me. Desperate, vulnerable old people, who merely wanted to get their jabs, sat among us. Those who were sick for reasons other than COVID were among us too, for the government has required everyone who is sick to be tested for COVID first .

A microcosm of how everything is done in India, the tests were given haphazardly, with samples getting mixed up, nurses spending most of their time fighting among themselves, and — lacking a lineup system — people crowded together, pushing and breathing into the mouths of one another.

A few days earlier, the government had given notice of the rate of tests and further restricted where they could be performed. A bribe-taking system would have been my preference to bypass government restrictions, but no such system has evolved yet. Nevertheless, corruption has exploded, and self-centeredness, apathy, a dog-eat-dog environment has come to the surface. You see this everywhere; the scavengers are out in full force.

I went to a private COVID hospital. The situation in government hospitals is far worse, beyond my capacity to cope with it.

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