There has been a lot of hype in the western media about the present crisis in India with a sudden increase in covid-19 deaths and the inability of the system to cope.
This headline captures it.
People are dropping dead in the streets, deeply sick individuals are committing suicide by jumping off buildings, and dead bodies are being burned in the open air because crematoriums have run out of space. What we are witnessing in India right now is nothing short of a horror show. We are being told that someone is dying every four minutes in New Delhi, but everyone pretty much agrees that the official numbers are not capturing the full extent of this plague. Some models are suggesting that “as many as 15,000 people are dying every day” in India, and hospitals all over the country are overflowing with patients that are at death’s door. India’s “double mutant” strain has been widely blamed for this catastrophe, but now a “triple mutant” strain has emerged which appears to be even more dangerous.
Here are some more examples from western media.
- A new threat has emerged in India’s fight against COVID – a triple-mutant variant of the virus.
- The new strain was found in samples in Bengal, and may have evolved from existing double mutations.
- Researchers in India say the new threat may affect vaccine efficacy, but more studies are needed.
On the other hand we have this passionate voice from the Indian street which reflects the arguments that are raging in the West. He comes, in my mind far closer to expressing in a subjective way the truth of what is happening.
THE SPANISH FLU
I would like to attempt a more balanced look at what is happening in India.
Firstly, I found this very informative article about the Spanish flu.
Here are some highlights:
Patterson and Pyle (1991) estimated that between 24.7 and 39.3 million died from the pandemic.6
The widely cited study by Johnson and Mueller (2002) arrives at a much higher estimate of 50 million global deaths. But the authors suggest that this could be an underestimation and that the true death toll was as high as 100 million.7
The more recent study by Spreeuwenberg et al. (2018) concluded that earlier estimates have been too high. Their own estimate is 17.4 million deaths.8
To have a context for the severity of influenza pandemics it might be helpful to know the death count of a typical flu season. Current estimates for the annual number of deaths from influenza are around 400,000 deaths per year. Paget et al (2019) suggest an average of 389,000 with an uncertainty range 294,000 from 518,000.4
Global death rate
How do these estimates compare with the size of the world population at the time? How large was the share who died in the pandemic?
Estimates suggest that the world population in 1918 was 1.8 billion.
Based on this, the low estimate of 17.4 million deaths by Spreeuwenberg et al. (2018) implies that the Spanish flu killed almost 1% (0.95%) of the world population.9
If we rely on the estimate of 50 million deaths published by Johnson and Mueller, it implies that the Spanish flu killed 2.7% of the world population. And if it was in fact higher – 100 million as these authors suggest – then the global death rate would have been 5.4%.10
The world population was growing by around 13 million every year in this period which suggests that the period of the Spanish flu was likely the last time in history when the world population was declining.11
Now this was interesting:
We’ve also seen above that during the Spanish flu many countries tried to suppress any information about the influenza outbreak. Today the sharing of data, research, and news is certainly not perfect, but very different and much more open than in the past.
Now, let’s look at current stattistics, which I have taken from a website called Worldometer.
Latest figures tell me that 585,000 people have died from (or is it WITH) COVID-19 in the United States.
If I look at this statistic and compare it with the 310 million population of the United States that translates into a death rate of 0.002% of the population.
Now, if we combine that with some degree of fraud in the statistics with hospitals in the US being paid to put covid-19 on the death certificates even if people died from something else, including from motor cycle accidents.
And then there is the small question of the PCR testing which I have covered at length,
All of that leads us to question the reality of the pandemic.
Now for some Indian statistics:
Now, I picked up from India media that 15000 are dying from covid-19 ever day.
I did a quick calculation and found that that translates to 5.7 million deaths over a year if that trend continues as it is.
That seems astronomical and catastrophic.
However, a simple calculation revealed that that equates to roughly 0.05% of India’s 1.2 billion population.
That has to be compared with the 1-5% that died in the Spanish flu.
Now, this is where it gets interestng.
I found the statistics for deaths in India. The greatest number of deaths, as one might expect were from coronary heart disease but after that they were from:
- lung diease
- influenza and pneumonia
- diarrheoal disease
The number of people dying from lung disease is hardly surprising given India’s problem with massive levels of air pollution
The sixth largest course of death is tuberculosis from which 421,437 died
The following chart which I have discussed previously is interesting and goes a long way to explaining where this sudden uptick in deaths could be coming from.
Correlation is not the same as causation but it is highly significant.
In view of the above this is significant.
BIDEN DUMPS EXCESS ASTRA ZENICA VACCINES ON INDIA
The US is planning to dump 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines on India to help us fight COVID-19. These AstraZeneca vaccines however is unapproved for use in the US and hence the unwanted stock is being offloaded on Indians. Moreover, this comes at a time when numerous European countries have stopped or suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for causing bood clots and are launching lawsuits against the company.
Does someone WANT India to have a crisis?
In many ways this is the old imperialism playing itself out. As the great Indian ecologist, Vandana Shiva makes clear, both Monsanto and Bill Gates are India’s greatest enemies and Joe Biden is but a pointsman.
One objection that could be brought up is that India is under-reporting its cases.
There may be some truth in this and I will illustrate it with my own experience. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I spent a total of 9 months in India, something that gave me a chance to observe from the outside.
On my last trip I stayed in Almora, in the foot hills of the Himalayas. One experience that stays in my memory was when I was sitting outside a cafe up the hill from where I was staying. I witnessed how a group of men were carrying a corpse in a shroud and they were running to the cremation pyre.
This is how things have been done in India since times immemorial.
I have my doubts that these villagers went to register the death with the local hospital board.
We have all the elements of the modern state – government departments and statistics bureaus – but is this all superstructure on top of how India always has been and remains despite all the years of neo-liberal reforms? We have all the shocking news reports of bodies being burnt outside but this is how it has always been in India.
The other thing that remains etched in my mind are the burning ghats in Varanasi or arms and hands floating down the Yamuna river next to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
This is the way India is and always has been, not the accoutrements of modern civilisation.
This is no better illustrated by my experience of going in to send a fax (that was the latest technology of the day), and then coming out to find an ox cart on the street.
In this regard I have to ask something that I am highly unlikely to find an answer to and that is the extent to which there might have already been pressure on cremation facilities. One thing that comes to mind is the possibility of a shortage of the wood that is needed for the cremation pyres.
Another question I ask is this. If the authorities are to be believed and this crisis came from the spread of a new variant one would (like with the Trump rallies in America) to find the attendees of the Kumbha Mehl, attended by upwards of 70 million over the festival, all cheek-by-jowl, dropping dead from coronavirus.
But is this the case?
My suspicion, like with the Trump rallies, is that this is not the case.
THE OXYGEN CRISIS
In addition to crematoriums (and these are not crematoria as we understand them in the West) running out of space we are told that hospitals are running low on oxygen, as in the following headline.
However, along with everything else we are being told in the western media, designed to create an impression in people’s minds, when we look at the question of the oxygen crisis in India if we delve a little deeper we find that the reality is a bit more complex and in fact India already had a crisis long before this that the central government already knew about explained, in part, by the fact that neo-liberal India was exporting oxygen to other countries.
From the Indian media:
Hospitals from Lucknow to Delhi have put up notices stating oxygen shortage and several hospitals have had to refuse admitting patients.
As of Tuesday, 21 April, 1.75% of the patients were in ICU beds, 0.40% were on ventilators, and 4.03% were occupying oxygen beds. Since the total active cases have now risen to 20,31,977, the number of patients requiring oxygen beds is significant.
Maharashtra is additionally taking 50 tonnes of oxygen from Chhattisgarh and another 50 tonnes from Gujarat daily. Reliance’s plant in Jamnagar will also be delivering 100 tonnes from Gujarat.
Madhya Pradesh, which is reporting the highest oxygen shortage, requires at least 250 tonnes of medical oxygen daily for its tally of 78,271 active patients as of 21 April. The state relies on Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh for its oxygen supply as it does not have its own manufacturing plant.
Gujarat’s requirement has crossed 500 tonnes per day for over 61,647 active COVID-19 cases as of 18 April.
Over the past week, many breathless Covid-19 patients have died due to the unavailability of medical oxygen in hospitals across some states in the country. Contrary to claims, the shortage of oxygen in some states is not due to lower production or FY21 exports.
Oxygen export data from the Department of Commerce showed that the country exported twice as much oxygen to the world during the first 10 months of FY21 in comparison to the previous financial year.
India had exported 9,301 metric tonnes of oxygen across the world between April 2020 and January 2021. In comparison, the country had exported only 4,502 metric tonnes of oxygen in FY20. The oxygen supplied was in liquid form and can be used for both industrial and medical use….
While many are blaming the government over India’s FY21 oxygen exports, the fact that the country produces over 7,000 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen per day indicates that the problem lies somewhere else.
At the moment, India produces more than 7,000 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen per day, which is enough to support the current requirement of medical oxygen. However, uneven supply and logistical issues have led to an oxygen crisis in some states.
Inox Air Products Director Siddharth Jain has told Moneycontrol.com that India has enough oxygen production to meet the existing demand but added that some states are facing a shortage due to distribution issues. The company produces over 50 per cent of the medical oxygen requirement in the country. Some other major manufacturers are Linde India, Goyal MG Gases Pvt Ltd, National Oxygen Limited.
“When you look at it from an all-India perspective, we are very comfortable as a country. At present, 7,200 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) of oxygen is manufactured in India in liquid form, which is supplied to hospitals. The current demand is 5,000 MTPD only,” Jain told the publication.
However, there is this:
A national newspaper has reported that the central government officials and a parliamentary panel had warned the government last year about the possible shortage and subsequent crisis.
I have presented the above to help you make up your mind whether this is a huge catastrophic crisis or a nothing-burger created by international authorities and aided by the media.
Like with everything, the reality is a little bit more complicated than that.
We only have indications but my deeply-held suspicion is this has more to do with the vaccines than anything else.
Whether it is because of what is in the vaccines or we are seeing the start of Geert vanden Bossche’s scenario it comes down to the same thing.
Mass vaccination is leading to tragedy and this is being covered up.
For now, the statistics (outside of the IMPRESSION they are meant to create) show that the crisis is not yet of the scale (let alone the nature that we are being told to believe.
This is why we have to constantly look beneath the surface , not make assumptions and debunk the propaganda.