Strict lockdowns, observance of health protocols, massive vaccination paying off
(Eagle News) – Philippine ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr., talks about the improving situation of COVID-19 cases in India, which recently saw declining infections and deaths.
Ambassador Bagatsing told ASEAN in Focus in an exclusive interview on Friday, June 4, that cases have gone down in the past 10 days. In fact, from over 400,000 cases per day in early May, cases have gone down to around 130,000 per day. Deaths have also declined in recent days as the Indian government was able to manage cases with strict lockdown measures and aggressive vaccination of the population. In fact, India has already vaccinated at least 15 percent of its population.
“From a high of over 414,000 (cases) a day, we’re down now to about 130,000 a day. And in terms of deaths, from a high of 5,000 a day, we’re down now to 2,500 a day,” Amb. Bagatsing said during the interview.
In Delhi, where the Philippine embassy is located, the number of new cases has also gone down. From a high of 26,000 cases a day, it is now down to around 450, he said.
“So very drastic was the decrease for the last 10 days,” Bagatsing said.
“It was also the result of very, very strict lockdowns, and this time, people were complying with all the restrictions and the COVID protocols,” he said.
-Hospital capacity improving in India-
Presently, the drop in cases meant that hospitals are better able to address and deal with cases.
“Things are much much better now…. We don’t have the problem anymore with lack of hospital beds, and lack of oxygen tanks and concentrators,” he said.
-15 percent of population vaccinated-
Ambassador Bagatsing said that there are around 224 million cases of vaccine rollout, or “about 15 percent of the population, now have the vaccines.” India has a population of around 1.38 billion.
In January to February, when the number of COVID-19 cases were just at around 10,000 per day, the people and the government too thought that they were “over the hump.” There were cheap vaccines – or even free vaccines – available to the population.
People then began to congregate more, holding festivals where social distancing as well as mask protocols were not observed.
This then led to increased transmission of cases, and the resulting emergence of a new double mutant COVID-19 variant, eventually resulting in an explosion of virus infections that had overwhelmed hospitals and India’s health care system.
But right now, Ambassador Bagatsing said that the situation had markedly improved.
-All Filipinos who contracted COVID, already recovered –
Among Filipinos too, there were no new cases reported. So far, all have recovered, except for the three deaths reported last month.
“From the very sad stories that we gave last month, now we have very good happy stories,” Bagatsing told the NET25 program ASEAN in Focus.
“Aside from the three that passed away last month, and the 73 who contracted the virus, now all of them are healed,” he said.
There are around 3,000 Filipinos in India, mostly housewives. Only 20 percent are OFWs, he said.
(Eagle News Service)