India Cries in COVID Crisis

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NEW DELHI, India (ChurchMilitant.com) – Catholic bishops are setting a day of prayer as pandemic-related deaths rise meteorically in India, but questions remain regarding what’s driving the increase in mortality.

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Cdl. Oswald Gracias of Mumbai

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai — president of India’s bishops’ conference — wrote to fellow bishops asking them to hold a day of prayer and fasting on May 7 to seek divine intervention to save the country from the metastasizing pandemic. Gracias’ April 22 letter stated, “We are recording around 300,000 new cases of coronavirus every single day. The second wave has hit us like a tsunami, and we are yet to reach the peak.” 

According to the New York Times, every day, the country is witnessing thousands of reported COVID-19 fatalities as the death toll skyrockets. The infection count has also risen to the tens of millions.

Media are reporting ambulances, medical oxygen, intensive care unit (ICU) beds and life-saving medicines are in short supply. Social media is awash with frantic pleas for help, with people desperately searching for oxygen cylinders, medicines and ICU beds. In many cities of India, crematoriums have been forced to build makeshift funeral pyres as municipalities are running out of space to cremate the dead. Staff are working around the clock, while parks and other empty spaces are also being utilized for cremations. 

Municipalities are running out of space to cremate the dead.

On May 1, at least 12 patients, including a doctor, died when a prominent hospital ran out of oxygen in New Delhi. Outside hospitals, families of patients who can’t find a bed are struggling to get hold of portable cylinders, sometimes standing in lines for up to 12 hours, reported BBC News.

Christians Affected Badly

Christians in particular are suffering badly due to the ongoing pandemic. For instance, several priests have died in recent weeks. New Delhi-based Catholic journalist Jessy Joseph told Church Militant that churches have restricted public participation in the light of the sharp spike of COVID cases. She explained, “Online Masses, eucharistic adoration and prayers are being conducted. Almost all the states in India have imposed lockdown and night curfews.”

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Cremating bodies

She also said that, in some states, where there is enough space in the cemetery, they bury Catholics: “Most of the dioceses in India have set up special task forces to bury the dead. Since casualties increased, burial sites are harder to get, so some dioceses have suggested cremating the bodies.”

She said that she doesn’t know the exact number of Catholic priests that have died. Indeed, even the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) may not know the correct number. Joseph lamented, “Last month, we lost some 55 catholic priests.” From April 20–23 alone, as many as 14 priests have succumbed to the disease, with several others dying since. One of those was Fr. Lijo Thomas of the archdiocese of Nagpur, who died on the afternoon of April 23 at Christ Hospital, Chandrapur in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. He was 38.

Catholic bishops are urging people across India to strictly follow COVID-19 restrictions.

Government’s Stand

Indian prime minister Narendra Damodardas Modi is facing severe criticism for not implementing a program to prevent the soaring of infections. Yet last year’s lockdown on jobs and transportation, which left hundreds of millions of migrants without jobs, wages and homes, is being criticized as an ineffective and self-defeating step. Despite the rising case count, the prime minister allowed millions of people to celebrate Hindu religious festivals such as Kumbh Mela.

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Indian prime minister Narendra Damodardas Modi

Modi urged states to set up high-level coordination committees to carry oxygen to different hospitals. He asked all states to ensure that tankers carrying oxygen to other states must not be stopped or delayed. 

International Community Offers Help 

The international community has come forward to help India. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Bangladesh, Japan and some other countries have banded together to help the Hindu-majority country.

Stateside, Joe Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain told CBS’ Face the Nation, “We are rushing aid to India.” But the White House also said Friday that starting Tuesday, the United States will stop incoming flights from India to prevent the spread of the infections.

The United States has dispatched two Air Force transport planes carrying oxygen cylinders, N95 masks and rapid diagnostic tests, the first of several planned shipments. Taiwan says it has sent much-needed oxygen supplies. 

Oxfam published a report estimating 122 million more people than normal could be pushed to starvation owing to social and economic fallout from government lockdowns.

The United Kingdom will also send 1,000 surplus ventilators to India, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. The United Kingdom had already pledged last week to send 200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators and three oxygen generation units to India.

Concerns Over Starvation

Others have voiced concerns that the death spike seen in India are not exclusive to COVID infection.

According to Hindustan Times, the charity group Oxfam published a report estimating 122 million more people than normal could be pushed to starvation owing to social and economic fallout from government lockdowns, including from mass unemployment, disruption to food production and supplies and declining aid.

Deutsche Welle reported that government restrictions to transportation has cut off food distribution to rural communities, where “women and women-headed households” are more likely to go hungry.” Migrant workers can neither work nor reach their hometowns due to the restrictions, noted the Global Sisters Report. People working in the informal sector account for 90% of India’s labor force, according to The Conversation.

Previous to the lockdown, The Conversation reported, India had been on pace to export $100 billion worth of agricultural products by 2025 and had a record harvest of 295.7 million metric tons prior to pandemic restrictions.

Case Spikes Coincide With Shots

One vaccine-watch website notes that fatalities in India were modest throughout 2020 by global standards because of the availability of low-cost treatments for COVID-19 — many of the same low-cost, over-the-counter drugs that were widely banned on U.S. media and social platforms but have been praised by the All India Institute of Medical Science. But as the goal of vaccinating 300 million people by August 2021 neared the midway mark in India at the start of April, the number of COVID cases surged, raising questions about how gene-based therapies may create unintended consequences not fully understood by scientists, including deaths.

The Indian health ambassador who took a COVID-19 shot on live TV in late April to prove its safety died two days later following a heart attack. The popular actor and comedian, Vivekh, was 59 years old, the Times of India reported.




Starvation due to government lockdowns is being cited as a primary driver of COVID deaths


 

Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, a virologist with 30 years’ experience, has warned that “mass vaccination amidst a viral pandemic” will unleash an “irrepressible monster” and create a “global catastrophe without equal.” Dr. Mike Yeadon, a former top scientist for shot-maker Pfizer, has warned the global push for COVID injections is a push for massive-scale “depopulation” and “totalitarian control.” 

While the Indian Medical Association (IMA) claims mass injection sites in densely packed areas have become “superspreader” events, it has not suggested halting the shots, but instead adding more injection centers with limits on the number who can be in them at a given time. The World Health Organization (WHO) is standing by COVID injections at the same time it has elevated a COVID variant in India from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of global concern.”

Dr. Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale University, however, has estimated more than 60% of all new COVID-19 cases are occurring among the “vaccinated.”

Media Manipulation?

Citizen journalists have questioned whether media reports about India have confused the issue on COVID-19, noting that India has been deploying PCR tests, which Centers for Disease Control chief Dr. Anthony Fauci admits — if not properly calibrated — can wrongly inflate COVID infection figures. This, in combination with increased testing, has been said to fuel media-reported “casedemics” as opposed to reports of real risk based on actual deaths. The CDC recently issued guidance to PCR test labs to properly calibrate the tests, but only for those who are already vaccinated.

One poster on social media said news coverage about India with “blatantly false visuals and narrative” about “geographically distant” countries like India and China is being “exploited” to incite panic in Western countries in support of continued lockdowns and encourage citizens to “surrender more of their freedoms” as part of the global Great Reset. The commenter noted that people being burned upon death in India — hyped by media to incite fear —has been a long-observed custom in that country.

This is not a crisis ravaging the whole of India.

On April 24, “2,767 deaths were attributed to COVID-19, the highest to occur in India so far. But let’s put that into context, with a population of 1.4 billion that is just 0.0001% of the population. And to put it into further context, India sees on average 25,270 deaths per day from all causes,” The Daily Expose reported. 

The Expose emphasized:

This is not a crisis ravaging the whole of India. Instead what you are seeing is the mainstream media pinpointing two particular areas within India which has a surge in cases thanks to the rise in asymptomatic testing within those areas, and a shortage of oxygen thanks to the Indian government’s inability to build oxygen generation plants within the past six months. Step outside of Mumbai and Delhi and you will find that the rest of India is carrying on as normal.

— Campaign 32075 —

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