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India sets a new global record for daily infections

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy REUTERS | Thu,Apr 22 2021 08:28:29 EAT
By REUTERS | Thu,Apr 22 2021 08:28:29 EAT

 

A man who died of Covid-19 is cremated in New Delhi on Wednesday. [Reuters]

India on Thursday reported over 300,000 coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, the highest daily global total, while Covid-19-related deaths also jumped by a record. 

India's daily jump in cases of 314,835 surpasses the previous highest one-day rise in the world of 297,430 cases posted by the United States in January.

The country’s total cases are now at 15.93 million, while deaths rose by 2,104 to reach 184,657, according to health ministry data.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

Over 1,300 people have died of the virus every day for the past week. That is less than at the worst points of the pandemic in the United States or Brazil, but it is a steep increase from just two months ago when fewer than 100 people in India were dying daily.

There are signs that the country’s health system, patchy even before the pandemic, is collapsing under the strain. On Tuesday, at least 22 people died in an accident in the central city of Nashik when a leak in a hospital’s main oxygen tank cut the flow of oxygen to Covid-19 patients.

More than 132 million Indians have received at least one dose, but supplies are running low and experts warn that the country is unlikely to meet its goal of inoculating 300 million people by the summer.

Twenty-two Covid-19 patients at a hospital in India died on Wednesday when the oxygen supply to their ventilators was disrupted by a leak.

The tragedy comes as India battles severe shortages of medical supplies during a fierce second wave of coronavirus infections.

The deaths come a week after Thackeray asked Indian pilots to airlift oxygen supplies to the region to alleviate severe shortages as Covid-19 infection numbers climb.

Hospitals in India's capital New Delhi have come perilously close to seeing their oxygen supplies run out as infections continue to spike in the country of 1.3 billion.

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Critics say, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who imposed a nationwide lockdown in March 2020 in the early stages of the pandemic, failed to prepare for a second wave or to warn Indians to remain vigilant against the virus, especially as more infectious variants spread.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has also allowed a massive Hindu festival to take place, drawing millions of pilgrims to the banks of the Ganges River, and his party has held jam-packed political rallies in several states.

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