India crosses 17 million Covid-19 cases amid crisis

New Delhi/London, Apr 26 (EFE).- India on Monday crossed 17 million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, as it battles a second wave of infections with record numbers of fresh cases and deaths for the fifth consecutive day.

In the last 24 hours, the South Asian country registered 352,991 new cases and 2,812 deaths, the highest numbers recorded so far, according to the Ministry of Health.

This brings the total to 17.3 million cases and 195,123 deaths since the start of the pandemic in the country of 1.35 billion inhabitants.

India currently has the highest rate of infections in the world, accounting for more than one-third of the 830,806 fresh cases recorded by the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours.

The situation in the country has deteriorated rapidly in the last few weeks, and after the first wave of cases ended in January with less than 9,000 daily cases.

The increase in cases has resulted in a surge in the number of hospitalizations, as more than 16 percent of the 17.3 million active cases are under professional medical care.

This has led to a critical situation in hospitals in the most affected regions and the shortage of essential medical supplies.

New Delhi, one of the most affected regions and under lockdown since last week, has been facing shortage of medical supplies, mainly oxygen.

On Saturday, a hospital in the capital reported the deaths of 20 patients as it grappled with a lack of adequate oxygen supply.

Nearly half a dozen hospitals in the city have reported a shortage of oxygen, used to assist hundreds of critical coronavirus patients to breathe.

The Indian capital alone has reported about 25,000 cases a day, with at least one in three Covid-19 tests coming out positive.

Meanwhile, countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have stepped up to send aid to the South Asian country.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said their country will do “everything we can to alleviate their suffering” in India, including sending oxygen compressors and ventilators.

“The pressure on hospitals in India is getting unbearable and we are going to do our part to make sure our friends in India get all the support they can,” Wallace told Sky News.

The US too has agreed to make vaccine raw materials available for India to help it fight the pandemic. EFE


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