Duncan Garner: The COVID-19 catastrophe in India could have global repercussions, including for New Zealand

OPINION: It's a world away from where we are at right now, but spare a thought for India.

This global giant is currently in the middle of a catastrophe, it's apocalypse now, COVID is running rampant through the very structure of the world's second most populated country.

To call it a crisis underplays the dead seriousness of the situation.

Even the word pandemic doesn't seem right. It's a total catastrophe and it's getting worse.

The hospitals can no longer cope. I keep hearing people describe the health system as "at breaking point". I'm sorry, the horse has bolted. It's broken and overwhelmed.

Doctors have put out notices saying please don't enter, it's full.

As a result, people are dying on the street, in gutters, wherever they are at the time. They are dying.

If official numbers are 3000 per day, what's the real figure?

The very latest numbers show 17.3 million people have had COVID-19, the second worst in the world behind the USA, but very quickly catching up. On Sunday, 354,000 more people were diagnosed in India with the virus. 

That's like everyone in Christchurch contracting COVID within a day. 

But then it happened again, and again. 

So how does it end? How will it stop?

In short, India's situation is calamitous. Just 1.5 percent of the population has been vaccinated. 

But it's not just their problem, it is the world's problem.

They are a producer of many of the world's vaccines and this could have repercussions for all countries, including New Zealand. 

This is not just a story about India. 

If they decide to manufacture the vaccines for India's domestic market only, it will throw supply agreements on their head.

Lockdowns aren't really an effective option in that part of the world, so the next few weeks could make for hard watching.

The world, including New Zealand, must step in with supplies and whatever help they can provide.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.