The COVID-19 pandemic which has arisen as an unprecedented challenge for almost the entire world has caused a lot of casualties so far. Needless to say, it is leading to a huge loss of human life and also to the economies of the world. In the past few days, the COVID-19 pandemic took a new move in India whereby the number of case has been increasing day by day on an increasing rate and unfortunately the number of deaths too. Even the scarcity of oxygen for the COVID patients also started prevailing thereby making the situation even worse. In many parts of the country, the supply of oxygen got scarce and it had to be transported from the other parts of the country via different conveyance means. India has now prioritised the imports of oxygen.
This situation of India is not hidden from anyone and hence countries around the world started doing whatever they can do in this regard. From supplying oxygen concentrators to vaccines, ventilators to masks, the global community has not come up to help India in this health crisis due to the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries like Saudi Arab are extending their help towards India. Around 40 countries have pledged to support India in this. Not only the developed countries, but also our neighbours like Mauritius, Bangladesh and Bhutan have come forward to help India.
Even the President of the UN General Assembly said that it is the time for all the countries of the world to provide help and support to the country, which has supplied crucial COVID-19 vaccines to the vulnerable nations. United Nations has been constantly in touch at various levels with authorities in India as India is fighting a crippling increase in the COVID-19 infections and deaths.
United Nations offered the assistance of their integrated supply chain to the country. This offer of help from the UN comes in the wake of a comment made by Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, who said that countries across the world have failed to provide an adequate global support to help India fight the ongoing crisis. But India declined the assistance offered by the United Nations of its integrated supply chain for COVID-19 related material, saying that the country has a “robust system” to deal with the required logistics. Mr.Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Chief said that although none of shipments of essential materials from UN agencies have been sought so far but they have people including their own people who deal with operational and logistical issues who are willing for help if needed. He further mentioned that they are in touch with their counterparts in India to see everything as to whether what will be useful. The Chef de Cabinet to the United Nations Secretary-General MAaria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti is constantly in touch with India’s permanent representative to the UN TS Tirumurti over the COVID-19 situation in India and other officials in the system have also been in touch with officials both here in New York and on the ground.
The UN is also making sure that its own staff, whether national or international, in India are taken care of so that they don't place a burden on the healthcare system of India. The UN colleagues on the ground are continuously supporting authorities and communities to confront the effects of the pandemic. Further, the UN entities have been training health workers, including 10,000 nurses through UN Women initiatives and the UN team has also partnered with employers’ and workers’ organisations to promote jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities.Eleven help desks and on-site counselling activities on COVID-19 prevention and business continuity were set up by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These services have helped over 140,000 employees.
In response to another question about the revival of the COVID-19 variant in India and whether major political rallies or religious festivals should be held during the pandemic, Mr Haq said that he will leave it to colleagues at the World Health Organisation to give a more formal evaluation about this Mr.Haq stressed that at this stage, "We've been warning about the sort of precautions that need to be taken in every country, and certainly, we want to make sure that all of the various precautions that have been recommended by the World Health Organization are followed through by every country." He further mentioned that one of the lessons that must be clear is that until the COVID-19 pandemic is essentially confronted and defeated in every country, it won't be solved for any country. He said that although there are different places that are thankfully making progress with measures, including vaccinations or local quarantines or other different precautions, but we have to remain vigilant.
In such pandemic times, it has now become very necessary to pertain to the precautionary measures. People had started misconceiving that the pandemic is all gone now and they stopped following the requisite norms, which has led to the current situation, that is, the second wave of this virus is said to have begun. It should be understood that it is the duty of the people themselves to follow the requisite guidelines as such guideline and safety norms are for the safety of the people of our country. There should be strict adherence to the safety norms and guidelines being issued even during the celebrations. People should understand that it is better to be safe as the spread is increasing day by day, or otherwise the situation can go out of control.