The Pandemic in South Asia
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted countries and communities at disproportionate levels, leading to an ever-growing healthcare and vaccine inequality. The virus has left no country untouched, but based on access to resources and each nations’ economic power, some countries have been able to manage the pandemic better than others.
2021 took a significant toll on South Asian countries, especially India, where there was a significant spike in COVID cases towards the end of April and the beginning of May. A culmination of a large population, and the development of an even stronger variant, caused India to pay a high price. From high oxygen demand and a scarce supply of medicines, hospitals were put under a lot of pressure and required government assistance. Even though the second wave is on a downward trajectory, the World Health Organisation (WHO) claims that the statistics aren’t reliable, as there is a lack of data collection and generation in smaller cities and villages.
India’s neighbouring South Asian countries; Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have all faced similar spikes in cases at around the same time, but the reported figures were not as high as the ones in India.
International aid and crowdsourcing was an attempt at a solution during the few weeks where the cases were in the few hundred-thousand range, but it was not enough to last the vast population and high number of deaths. This is a representation of how the pandemic has contributed to global inequality. From vaccines to oxygen, the low rate of production and inefficient distribution, has prevented South Asian countries from reducing the impact of the pandemic with ease. As more economically developed countries (MEDC’s) can afford to purchase and distribute vaccines efficiently, they are able to move back to a more or less “normal” life. This medical inequality is evident and will remain if further action is not taken.
According to the World Bank, the pandemic already has, and will trigger millions more to fall into poverty. The only solution is if MEDC’s provide aid with affordable vaccines and other medical supplies. These efforts need to be implemented quickly, and they require mass coordination to prevent millions from suffering.
The state of the pandemic in South Asia can make us feel helpless, as if there is nothing that we can do from outside. Numerous members of the wear:change team have experienced this feeling on a more personal level, so we came up with an idea.
At wear:change, we believe in encouraging others to play a part in being the change. In a matter of a few days, we managed to put together our India FIGHT TOGETHER tote bag. The tote bag is eco-friendly, fashionable, raises awareness and makes a direct impact on the situation in India. The bag depicts the Indian national flower, a lotus, which symbolizes rebirth. 100% of the profits are donated to HelpNow24x7, a NGO based in Mumbai that provides 10 different ways of quick and reliable ambulance services in four different Indian cities.
Check out our latest mini-line, let’s work together to FIGHT the pandemic TOGETHER!