India’s Covid “chamber of horrors” is the greatest moral failure in a generation says Vidya Krishnan in The Atlantic. We have some of the best-trained doctors on the planet and our country is a “pharmacy for the world”. But while our world-class private hospitals cater for the rich and medical tourists from abroad, the poor rely on state-run infrastructure “held together with duct tape”. It’s “medical apartheid”. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accused of “hoarding life-saving drugs” and holding “election rallies cum super-spreader events” that would make Donald Trump blush.
This is what happens when the “upper caste” can buy the best care (or “flee to safety in private jets”), wilfully unaware of the “ricketiness” of the healthcare system. And it’s not the first time India has disgraced itself like this. In 1984 a leak at a pesticide factory in Bhopal unfolded into the “world’s worst industrial disaster”, leaving more than 5,000 dead and a legacy of cancer and deformity that persists to this day. The area is still a “toxic mess”, but rich Indians have always ignored it. Now they sit alongside the poor, “clutching their pearls” as loved ones fail to get ambulances, doctors, medicine and oxygen, facing a reckoning that has previously only plagued the vulnerable.