India l The Indian Express
India’s 3rd place global ranking (with close to a million Covid-19 cases as of mid-July, based on the Johns Hopkins University tally) is a grim reflection of a raft of woes bedeviling the country, now struggling to contain the pandemic for reasons predating the current health crisis. Low testing ratio, for instance, is a function of huge gaps in health care, for which spending accounts only for 1% of the GDP. Calls to raise public health expenditure pre-pandemic seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. Good personal hygiene habits like handwashing, so crucial in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease, are a major challenge in the face of India’s perennial water crisis, often blamed on lack of government planning, increased corporate privatization, industrial and human waste and government corruption.