Why the COVID-19 second wave is so bad in India

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the country bringing the entire healthcare system to its knees. Dr Ritesh Malik decodes how things got so bad.
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Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder and CEO of Innov8 Coworking, who has been on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight at his family-owned hospital in Delhi, Radix Healthcare, in an exclusive conversation with YourStory decoded why the COVID-19 second wave has created so much mayhem in India.

Here’s what he told Yourstory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, in an unfiltered chat.

(We are publishing his words, near verbatim)

Dr Ritesh Malik believes our priorities as a country were grossly misplaced

History repeating itself

History will always repeat itself. Typically whenever viral pandemics come they come in cycles, the second and third waves are always direr because the virus mutates.

What we are seeing now is a different virus, different virulence from what originated in Wuhan, China, initially.

In the last wave (our hospital had) so many patients, but we had zero casualties. In the last three weeks, we have had three casualties already in a small (100-bed) hospital like ours. Around 60 percent cases are of people who are less than the age of 45 this time.

The cases are 2.5X more than reported government numbers according to me.

Where did we go so wrong?

Our priorities were towards (state) elections, Kumbh, these are super spreaders.

Our priorities as a country were wrong.

In (poll state West Bengal’s capital) Kolkata if two people get an RT-PCR test done, one is coming as positive.

The government should have stopped this (poll) madness immediately. We did not focus on prevention.

As a country, we spend time praying (at events like the Kumbh), but nature is ruthless, if you don't follow its laws you will succumb to it.

Shouldn’t have exported vaccines

We should not have exported 7 crore vaccines abroad, I feel India took a wrong decision.

We should have vaccinated our own population (first).

Read the full interview here, where Dr Ritesh talks about various things, including when the second wave of COVID-19 will peak, the third wave, and most importantly how you can save yourself and your family at this time.

The doctor-turned-entrepreneur and investor, has donned his whites again amidst the raging pandemic that has engulfed the entire country.

Since selling his coworking startup to Softbank-backed OYO in 2019, Ritesh has been an extremely active angel investor, while also being involved at the family hospital fighting the pandemic.

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