India adds world’s highest daily spike with nearly 315,000 new infections

New Delhi, Apr 22 (EFE).- India Thursday added nearly 315,000 Covid-19 patients, the world’s highest daily number of coronavirus infections since the pandemic began.

India thus surpassed the previous highest one-day rise of 297,430 infections in the United States in January.

As the devastating second virus outbreak gripped the country and nearly collapsed its fragile healthcare, fatalities rose by 2,104, the worst daily toll, in the last 24 hours from Wednesday morning.

According to the federal health ministry data, the country reported a total of 314,825 new cases in the same period, bringing the total number of infected people to nearly 16 million.

The number of patients who lost their lives to the virus is nearly 185,000 in the second=worst hit nation behind the United States with 32 million infections.

The country of 1.35 billion people is battling one of its worst health crises as hospitals suffer perilously low supply of medical oxygen and anti-viral drugs amid a growing number of patients seeking beds and intensive care.

The concerns over the oxygen crisis resonated in the top court of the national capital of New Delhi.

Bar and Bench, an online portal for legal news in India, reported that the court held a special sitting at 9.20 pm Wednesday over the crisis.

The court asked the federal government to explore all possibilities so that all hospitals in the national capital get medical oxygen supply.

“We want you to undertake maximum procurement from all sources. Beg, borrow, steal, whatever, you have to provide (medical oxygen). You have plenary sovereign power. No industry will say no to you. You must take over,” the court said.

At least 22 Covid-19 patients were killed Wednesday at a hospital in India’s western state of Maharashtra after a leak in an oxygen tank led to the disruption of supply for dozens of patients on ventilators.

The dangerous rise in the number of infections has forced several regions, including Delhi and Maharashtra, to impose confinement measures to stop people from coming out of their homes.

The Indian capital recorded 249 deaths, a new record for the city of over 20 million people, amid a near full occupancy of intensive care unit beds in government and private hospitals.

Maharashtra, which is home to India’s financial capital of Mumbai, remains the worst-hit region by the second wave of the coronavirus.

The western state recorded 67,468 new cases and 568 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The state government announced more restrictions on office attendance, marriage ceremonies, and travel that will remain in force until May 1.

Experts partly attribute the sudden record-breaking spike in the number of new infections and fatalities to a lax government attitude that allowed mass gatherings, including millions attending the Kumbh Mela religious festival and election rallies.

Plus, a new “double mutant” virus variant is more contagious than the previous strain.

India sees its vaccination campaign as the biggest weapon to fight the virus.

The country has administered more than 132 million doses since the start of the vaccination drive in January. EFE

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