NEW DELHI – OVER 500 Indian physicians have died from Covid since March but the actual figures on these counts are likely to be much higher due to testing limitations.

India has been grappling with a deadly Covid-19 surge that hit the country like a cyclone in early April. Within a month, new daily cases peaked at over 400, 000.

Conservative estimates indicate India has experienced over 400 million cases and 600, 000 deaths overall.

India’s surge is also remarkable considering the country largely avoided the worst of the earlier stages of the pandemic.

India’s Covid-19 surge is a warning for Africa. Like India, Africa mostly avoided the worst of the pandemic last year.

Many Sub-Saharan African countries share similar sociodemographic features as India: a youthful population, large rural populations that spend a significant portion of the day outdoors, large extended family structures, few old age homes, densely populated urban areas, and weak tertiary care health systems.

As in India, many African countries have been loosening social distancing and other preventative measures.

A recent survey by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that 56 percent of African states were “actively loosening controls and removing the mandatory wearing of face-masks.”

Moreover, parts of Africa have direct, longstanding ties to India, providing clear pathways for the new Indian variant to spread between the continents. – PTI.

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