Grim surge in India, world’s second-most populous country has sent more and more sick people in search of medical oxygen and hospital beds.
India has reported a global record of more than 314, 000 new infections yesterday as a brutal second wave of coronavirus cases sends more and more sick people into a fragile healthcare system critically short of hospital beds and medical oxygen.
The infections added in the past 24 hours, mostly attributed to a so-called double mutant variant, raise India’s total past 15.9 million cases since the pandemic began.
Deaths also rose by a record 2,104 in the past 24 hours, raising India’s overall death toll to 184,657, the health ministry said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cancelled his election campaign in West Bengal state over the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.
“Tomorrow, will be chairing high-level meetings to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation,” Modi said on Twitter.
“Due to that, I would not be going to West Bengal,” he added.
China is willing to help India as it fights a surge in coronavirus cases, said the Chinese foreign ministry.
China is aware that the epidemic in India has been severe recently, and there is a temporary shortage of necessary materials for epidemic prevention, said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman at the foreign ministry.
“China is willing to provide the necessary support and help,” Wang said, without giving details of what such assistance might consist of.
“The novel coronavirus is a common enemy of all mankind, and the global community needs to unite as one to fight against epidemics.”
Singapore said it will not allow entry to long-term visa holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India.
The health ministry said it was investigating COVID-19 cases in a migrant workers’ dormitory for the possibility of reinfection and is quarantining more than 1,100 of the facility’s residents. So far, 17 recovered workers were found to be infected at the dormitory.
The government said travel restrictions with India will help curb potential cases in the dormitories because many of the labourers arrive from the South Asian nation.
India will start receiving Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine by the end of May, its local distributor Dr Reddy’s Laboratories told Reuters, a later than expected schedule that could slow the country’s immunisation drive.
“We are targeting to have the first batches imported by [fiscal] Q1, and are trying our best to have them by end-May,” Dr Reddy’s spokesman told Reuters.
“Sputnik is going to be made in India in a few months. We expect the India-made vaccine to start being available from the second quarter of the fiscal [year].”
India’s ambassador to Moscow said last week deliveries of Sputnik V to the country were expected to begin this month, the TASS news agency reported.