© Reuters. Relatives stand by the burning crematorium of a coronavirus (COVID-19) dead person, at a crematory site in New Delhi
By Shilpa Jamkhandikar and Neha Arora
MUMBAI, (Reuters) – India reported the world’s highest daily coronavirus infections for the second day, surpassing 330,000 new cases, as the country struggled with a health system overloaded by patients and Plagued by accident.
The Health Ministry said the number of deaths in the past 24 hours also rose to a record 2,263, while officials across northern and western India, including the capital New Delhi, warned most hospitals. full and out of oxygen.
An increase in cases occurred when a fire at a hospital on the outskirts of Mumbai treating patients with COVID-19 killed 13 people on Friday, the latest accident occurring at a crowded facility. people infected with coronavirus.
On Wednesday, 22 COVID-19 patients died at a public hospital in the state of Maharashtra when their oxygen supplies were depleted due to a leaking tank, while at least nine coronavirus patients died in a disease fire. Institute in Mumbai last month.
Dr Singh Deo, Health Minister of the state of Chhattisgarh, told Reuters: “It is grim. It is serious … the ICU bed is extremely lacking.”
“We will need to be very careful in the rural areas. If it spreads there, it can’t be controlled,” Deo said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been criticized by the government for loosening coronavirus controls too quickly, met heads of the most severely affected states, including the capital Delhi, the western state of Maharashtra and the state of Gujarat, Modi’s hometown, to discuss the crisis.
Daily cases reached 332,730 cases, up from 314,835 cases the day before India set a new record, surpassing the record set by the United States in January with 297,430 new cases. The US tally has since decreased.
Delhi reports more than 26,000 new cases and 306 deaths, or about one death every 5 minutes, the fastest since the pandemic began.
Medical oxygen and hospital beds have become scarce, with major hospitals announcing they are no longer available for any more patients and police deployed to secure oxygen supplies.
“We regret to announce that we will suspend new patient admissions at all of our hospitals in Delhi … until the oxygen supply stabilizes,” says Max Healthcare. a network of hospitals, said on Twitter when calling for oxygen supply.
Now there does not appear to be a social safety net for Indians, Bhramar Mukherjee, professor of biological statistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, USA.
“Everyone is fighting for their own survival and trying to protect their loved ones. This is hard to watch,” he said.
In New Delhi, those who have lost loved ones are turning to makeshift facilities, where mass burials and cremations are underway as funeral services are overflowing.
Amidst the despair, recidivism has begun.
Health experts say India becomes complacent in the winter, when the number of new cases increases by about 10,000 a day and appears to be under control, while lifting restrictions to allow gatherings. big.
Zarir F Udwadia, a pathologist wrote: “The Indians have let go of their collective vigilance, and a member of the task force of the Maharashtra state government, in the Times of India.
Last year, the government ordered a broad shutdown in the early stages of the pandemic but it was wary of the economic costs and volatility to the lives of poor migrant workers’ unions due to resets. tight restrictions.
A newer infectious variant of the virus, particularly a “double mutation” native to India, may have helped accelerate this rise, experts say.
Canada bans flights from India, along with the UK, United Arab Emirates and Singapore blocking visitors.
India, the major vaccine producer, has started a vaccination campaign, but only a small part of the population is vaccinated.
Authorities have announced the vaccine will be available to anyone over the age of 18 as of May 1, but experts say there won’t be enough for 600 million eligible people.
“It was tragic, the mismanagement. For a country known as the pharmaceutical of the world, having less than 1.5% of its population vaccinated was a confusing failure,” said Kaushik Basu , professor at Cornell University and an economist. adviser to the Indian government, said on Twitter.