Cases in India hit record high
India recorded the highest cases for the second day in a row. Daily deaths from the disease rose by a record 2,263 in a single day. India is seeing this as its second wave amid raised new fears about the health services and their ability to cope.
As per media reports, hospitals across western and northern India including the capital, New Delhi, have sent out notices to say that they only have a few hours of medical oxygen to keep Covid-19 patients alive.
According to the Delhi government’s database, more than two-thirds of hospitals have no vacant beds, and doctors are asking the patients to stay at home. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said there is a massive shortage of intensive care unit beds, with the capital needing about 5,000 more than what it has. Some hospitals in Delhi had oxygen to last 10 hours, others just had six.
“The situation can in no way be called a comfortable one,” he told reporters. India has initiated a vaccination drive but only a small fraction of the population has received the jabs. Authorities have said that vaccines will be available to people over the age of 18 from May 1. India, as per experts, won’t have shots that would be enough for the 600 million people who are eligible.
Health experts, on the ongoing scenario in India, say that the country let its guard down when the virus was under control during the winter season. Daily cases were about 10,000 in those days and the government went loose, lifting restrictions to allow big gatherings.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ordered a strict lockdown last year, in the initial stages of the pandemic, but opened things up when cases surged due to the economic costs of tough restrictions.