Condition of COVID 19 pandemic in the USA
When the dreadful novel coronavirus reached the USA, it granted the USA an exclusive luxury of “perception after the fact”. The virus’s biological character and course were already revealed in China, and its genome had also been charted. It was already established that it was a novel virus corona without known treatment or prophylactic means. It was known that only non-drug-based interventions like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing could aid in containing its spread.
Still, the USA turned out to be the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and as of now, suffers the highest death toll. As of April 10th, it possessed 30% of confirmed cases and 18% of COVID-19 deaths in the world.
As the USA is a superpower, there was even no lack of commitment, skill or financial means to counter the pandemic. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the USA was detected on January 21st.
Reasons of non-containment of coronavirus in USA
The reasons are as much cultural as these are political:
- Higher Air Traffic with China
- Preference for Personal Freedom: Politicians in the USA are seriously afraid to do anything that can be demonstrated to violate citizen’s rights. Their individual freedom is given foremost importance which makes, essential limitations on public activities, hard. However, unexpected times need unexpected solutions. Before the above realization, thousands of citizens were already infected and dead in the community.
- Private Healthcare System: The healthcare system in the USA is largely private which makes organizations among different hospitals and public health officials more challenging as compared to a centralized healthcare system. Any well-meant reform in the healthcare sector by the government is perceived as communist and is violently opposed. Also, profit drive in the healthcare industry gave slight respite for dealing with crises of such nature. Consequently, poor American minorities, forced out of the medical insurance net, and forced to work through the crisis are being increasingly affected by the disease and related fatalities.
- Disjointed Central and State Response: US bodies such as CDC had substantial problems initially in developing and introducing COVID-19 testing, which made it increasingly tough to ascertain the range of the disease outbreak. Also, state authorities did not co-operate with the federal government in policy implementation.
Condition of India as compared to the USA amid global COVID 19 crisis
India is still a lower-middle-income country. It witnessed her first case on January 30th, 2020. India with almost 430% of the US population and just 14% of US GDP has seen far fewer infections and deaths due to COVID 19. There are several learning here related to India’s success story.
- Strong Leadership: Prime minister of India understood the magnitude of the situation early and was swift to seek faith of the countrymen on the need for compulsory strict measures needed to preserve lives. Early lockdown implementation at the national level prevented the pandemic to spread without control. Currently, India stands unified regardless of political affiliations at state levels.
- Effective Policy Implementation at Grass-root Levels: Reflecting the urgency at the capital level, district and rural bodies, also understood the seriousness of the problem at hand and contributed to an already motivated bureaucracy in curbing the pandemic. Its outcomes can be witnessed in the significantly lesser numbers of COVID 19 cases seen in the rural and semi-urban areas of India.
- Disaster preparedness: India’s frequent encounter with natural disasters has facilitated the countrymen to develop a seamless response system where hundreds of workers are organized rapidly. These acts and rules of disaster management are traditionally verified, effective, and devoid of political interference. Such freedom to take spot assessments and act peculiarly to unique ground situations is the strength of the Indian system of governance.
- Full Supply of Empirical HCQ: Due to the inherent Indian policy of helping its partners, India was generous in supplying Hydroxychloroquine tablets to countries including the USA and the entire world, which bore good outcomes in terms of exchanging ideas, apart from saving lives at home.
However, there is a caution to this analysis. The USA consists of significantly higher air traffic than India and containment would have always been comparatively tough in the USA.