India recorded nearly 315,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 2,074 deaths in 24 hours on Thursday, breaking a world record.
• Read also: COVID-19: India reports nearly 315,000 new cases in 24 hours, a world record
“In the street, it’s really night and day. A month ago everything was reopened. People had started drinking beers again in pubs and we didn’t have many cases, ”said Côme Bastien, correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI) in Bangalore in an interview with QUB radio.
According to him, the phenomenal rise in contamination is explained by large gatherings due to religious pilgrimages, combined with the arrival of the new Indian variant.
- LISTEN to Côme Bastien’s speech on QUB radio:
“Today in Bombay, more than 70% of cases come from this variant,” added Mr. Bastien.
“The first wave was not very important. In the first wave, people respected the instructions better, explained Mathew Thambi, resident of the coastal city of Cochin. After a year the cases decreased and people started to relax and were less afraid. ”
The situation in hospitals is also extremely difficult as there is a lack of staff, beds, medicine and even oxygen to intubate patients. Côme Bastien indicates that citizens are scrambling to find oxygen tanks for their loved ones and are using social networks such as Twitter to find drugs. The situation could however be even worse than what the official data suggests, according to him.
“The poorest people have daily wages and they are very afraid to be tested,” he concluded.
And the consequences of the pandemic will be felt for a long time, warns Mathew Thambi, tourist guide for 25 years.
“Unfortunately, in India tourism is not of great importance yet. The people who work in the field, we do not project a good future in front of us, ”said Mathew Thambi, who does not foresee a recovery before October 2022.