Covid-19 ‘storm’ sweeps India with 350,000 new infections, 2,800 deaths

By Sarwar Kashani

Srinagar, Apr 25 (EFE).- India Sunday added nearly 350,000 new patients and 2,800 deaths to its Covid-19 tally that is expanding rapidly and unfolding into a devastating health crisis.

According to the federal health ministry, the country reported 349,691 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours from Sunday morning, taking its overall tally to 16.96 million cases.

The virus claimed 2,767 more lives over the last day, with the total coronavirus fatalities mounting to 192,311.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, widely criticized over the social media platforms for the alleged mishandling of unfolding health disaster, described the new wave as a “storm” that has shaken the country.

“Corona is testing our patience. It is testing the limits of all of us at enduring misery. Many of our near and dear ones have left us untimely,” he said in his monthly radio address to the nation.

He urged the Indians to get vaccinated and maintain all precautions. “We will soon prevail together over this calamity.”

The country reported more than 300,000 daily cases for the fourth day in a row, setting a new world record.

India, the second worst-hit nation by the virus, has registered a total of nearly 1.35 million infections since Thursday and more than 2,000 deaths every day.

The country, known for its below-par healthcare infrastructure, has been reporting nearly 40 percent of all new cases worldwide in the past few days.

The virus has infected 3.5 million people worldwide in the past four days, according to global statistics.

India has nearly 12 percent of cumulative global infections, second highest after the United States (33 million cases), with little over 22 percent.

The growing number of patients has strained the healthcare infrastructure of India beyond its capacity.

Hospitals have put up signboards to refuse admission to new patients as medical oxygen supplies are running perilously low amid the unavailability of critical care beds.

Social media channels are full of SoS messages as people desperately seek medical attention, endlessly waiting in long queues outside hospitals to see doctors.

A hospital in New Delhi Saturday said 20 of its critically ill patients succumbed because of the oxygen shortage.

Many other health facilities in the national capital have sent SOS alerts to the government, seeking increased supplies of life-saving oxygen amid an unprecedented surge in demand.

The regional government in Delhi Sunday said the requirement of oxygen supplies in the capital hospitals is 700 metric tons.

“We are getting 330 to 335 metric tons only,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a video message, adding that it would take some days for the situation to improve.

Other states like Maharashtra, the worst-hit region, also reported critically low levels of medical oxygen, endangering the lives of the severely infected patients gasping for breath.

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