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🇮🇳 Is India losing its Coronavirus battle? | The Stream

Al Jazeera, 14 Sep 2020
India in crisis
COVID-19 cases are soaring in India again, with infections approaching five million. The country is catching up to the United States, the world's worst affected country. Reported deaths in India are close to 80,000.

Infections are spiking in rural and poor areas, where crumbling infrastructure is not equipped to deal with the number of cases. Doctors and medical facilities are in short supply, and water and electricity are scarce.

In March, as the pandemic began to spread, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi put in place the world's biggest lockdown. But, as millions of people lost jobs, the lockdown was eased in June. Since then, there have been concerns that people are taking mandated precautions less seriously.

We’ll take a look at why India’s numbers are spiking, examine testing and screening practices and ask what impact the virus will have on the country's future.

Europe’s second wave
Countries across Europe are seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after successfully slowing outbreaks earlier this year. France declared 8,975 new cases on September 4, the highest figure yet recorded there. In the United Kingdom, new infections soared to nearly 3,000 in one day - the biggest jump since May. Spain, which reported nearly 9,000 new cases last week, has also seen an increase.

But, unlike in the pandemic's early days, the rise in cases has so far not corresponded to a significant increase in deaths and hospitalisations, important markers for policymakers when deciding on the reopening of schools and businesses. With cases on the upswing, though, that could change quickly.

So, is a second wave a significant threat in Europe, or are countries better prepared to handle coronavirus this time?

Vaccine trial representation
A new advertisement, funded by the National Institutes of Health in the United States, is encouraging minorities and people of colour to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has recommended that about 37 percent of the volunteers be Latino and 27 percent Black. Enrolments so far, however, have fallen far short of that. One pharmaceutical company, Moderna, has slowed their vaccine trial until they are able to enrol more people from minority communities.

We’ll ask why diversity is important in vaccine trials, which groups should be prioritised, and whether ads are enough to persuade people to take part.

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