India: Less hygiene, more Covid

The photo represents an Indian man dressed in white and yellow providing food to a couple of parallel lines of people. The meal consist of a dish with some rice and a iron glass of water
The Rain came

From June to September, the monsoon season hits India with its violent thunderstorms, making any activity difficult.

This year the spread of the pandemic worsens the situation. It was not enough two months of strict lockdown to curb the increase in the infection. On July 8th infected people were about 742,417 with 20,642 deaths.

The numbers, as elsewhere, are approximated by default because only those who show obvious symptoms are tested. The most affected cities are Delhi and Mumbai, where critical care’s places have been depleted and patients die outside hospitals while waiting to be hospitalized.

In Delhi a religious building as large as twenty football pitches has been provisionally turned into a hospital, with 10,000 beds. Unfortunately, inside the equipment is rather deficient.


Despite the extremely critical situation, on June 8th the central government put an end to the two-month lockdown in an attempt to relaunch economy.

Doctors invite patients who have already been fully healed to go to hospitals to donate plasma, since it contains the antibodies generated during the treatment. 

Financial crises, economic damage and human losses give the impression that India – among the emerging countries – is the one which is suffering the most from the pandemic.

The ghost of hunger is advancing in a nation where half the population lives on 1.35 dollars a day and cities are surrounded by immense slums of indescribable insecurity.

As it is often the case, suffering generates aggression and the Muslim minority, accused of spreading the virus, is often the victim of unjustified violence.

Far from home

The humanitarian crisis due to water and sanitation shortages is overshadowed – if possible – the disease. As if all this was not enough, with the lockdown 140 million migrant workers (remember that India is a federation of states) suddenly found themselves without enough resources to survive.

The only possible choice was to return home thousands of miles away. Some of them travel on foot because of the stop of transportation, with the police on their backs, because of the prohibition on leaving the city slums to prevent the spread of the virus.

Televisions around the world showed the long lines of men, women and children marching on deserted highways, driven by the hope of surviving the catastrophe.