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Why India, not the US or EU, will be the world’s main battlefield in the fight against Covid-19

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the unprecedented move on Tuesday to put “the entire country on lockdown” for three weeks until April 14. The PM told Indians that saving lives is his “first priority,” requested that people stay inside and reiterated that social distancing is the only way to break the cycle of the infection, which has spread rapidly around the world. “Step outside your house in the next 21 days and you will set the country back by 21 years,” Modi warned.

This is no exaggeration. Indeed, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, how India responds to this crisis now could determine the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic for the entire world. The future of the outbreak largely depends on what happens in large and densely populated countries like India, according to Dr. Michael J Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies programme. Dr. Ryan cautioned on Monday that India must continue to take “aggressive action at the public health level and at the level of society to contain, control, suppress this disease and save lives.”

It’s no surprise that India faces several major hurdles in its fight against Covid-19; insufficient healthcare funding, lack of clean water and hygiene facilities in several........

© RT.com