Fighting “a Nuclear War with a Stick”

As India reels from its horrific COVID-19 storm, people are dying in hospital car parks and trainee doctors and nurses are abandoning exams for the  frontlines,Reuters reports.
 
“In the words of one doctor, health care workers who have been sent in to fight a nuclear war with a stick,” New Delhi-based journalist Barkha Dutt told the PBS NewsHour.

The government is also trying to minimize case and death numbers in a “clumsy attempt to contain panic,” Dutt said. An owner of  COVID testing labs told her of instructions to “slow it down” when results reflect a high positivity rate.
 
Urgent Calls for a Lockdown: At least 11 states and regions have already ordered curbs on movement to stem infections, Reuters reports, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has resisted the idea of a national lockdown.
 
Only targeted shutdowns, more testing, universal mask-wearing and avoiding large gatherings will “break the back of this surge,” said Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, the AP reports.

Even in the best-case scenario, the next several weeks at least will be horrible, Jha said.
 

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