India’s Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed 323,144 people tested positive for Covid-19, while 352,991 Covid-19 cases were reported on Monday.
The country’s Catholic bishops have expressed their closeness to the people who are suffering saying the government is to blame for lack of proper planning.
"It can be said that the main cause of this tragic situation is the complacency of the government and the lack of a conscientious public," Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Visakhapatnam said.
He said India has exported more than 60 million Covid vaccines to 84 countries.
"Certainly, there has been a great error of evaluation by the government and the general public,” the archbishop who is chairman of the Health Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) told Fides news agency.
“Little attention has been paid to the rules on social distancing, while the state machine has ignored the application of the rules."
Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal of Indore said he was shocked by the number of people dying in his diocese.
“I know an entire Christian family that was infected and died,” he said, adding that a young bishop is in critical condition in hospital.
The bishop, former chairman of the Office of Social Communication of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), said patients are being turned away because all beds in his diocese are occupied.
Jesuit priest Father Cedric Prakash, a human rights activist, also pointed an accusing finger to the authorities for their “inability to limit unnecessary public gatherings.”
"Time is running out for everyone,” he warned, saying, “the federal and state governments must act quickly to save the country from the pandemic."
Father Prakash, of Gujarat Jesuit province, said that at least five Jesuits succumbed to Covid-19 related complications last week, with many others including nuns affected by the virus.
Cardinal George Alencherry, the head of the eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Catholic Church said the alarming shortage of oxygen is causing deaths.
He urged the government to “Take all necessary measures immediately to make it available to the people who are struggling hard to hang on to their lives in hospitals and healthcare centers.”
Cardinal Alencherry, who is also president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC,) said medical oxygen “should be treated on a par with food, clothing and shelter.”
“The availability of medical oxygen should be seen as a basic need made available free of cost to the citizens of India. In an economy that is emerging to become fast developing, medical oxygen should not be left to become a commodity for making profits,” he stressed.