India reports record 261,500 Covid-19 cases amid healthcare collapse fears

New Delhi, Apr 18 (EFE).- India recorded on Sunday a new daily record of 261,500 coronavirus cases and 1,501 deaths, while several of the worst-affected states have warned of the healthcare system collapsing due to the increased pressure.

The South Asian country has been facing a second wave of Covid-19 infections, and has already recorded a total 14.7 million cases since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.

India, the second most infected country in the world after the US (32 million cases), crossed 200,000 daily cases for the fourth successive day with no signs of the infection curve flattening.

The country also reported a record 1,501 deaths in 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 177,150.

The western state of Maharashtra continues to be the most affected, recording 67,123 cases in the last 24 hours.

Ten of the 36 states or territorial divisions – 28 states and eight union territories – have accounted for 78.5 percent of daily infections in the country.

As the number of cases continue to rise significantly everyday, these regions have expressed concern over the healthcare system potentially collapsing due to the added strain.

The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, said Sunday the capital – with 25,000 fresh daily infections – was facing a shortage of hospital beds in intensive care units.

“The major concern is teh positivity rate that has increased to 30 percent from 24 percent in the last 24 hours. The cases are rising very fast,” Kejriwal said in a televised message, adding that there was also a shortage of oxygen.

He underlined that the capital was in a state of extreme necessity and that he had spoken to Home Minister Amit Shah on this matter.

The government website of the Delhi, which reports on the availability of hospital beds for critical coronavirus patients needing respiratory assistance, showed that only 95 of the total 4,123 beds were available.

The capital expects to add 6,000 oxygen beds in the coming days, according to Kejriwal, who has imposed a weekend lockdown in the city along with fresh restrictions until the end of the month to control the spread of the virus.

Maharashtra, which has also recently introduced measures such as curfews and shutdown of non-essential commercial activities, has also called out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over shortage of oxygen supply in the state.

Federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Twitter Sunday that the government is working to ensure oxygen availability and the continued supply of vaccines, after several states warned of a critical lack of vaccines.

India has administered more than 120 million doses since the vaccination campaign began 92 days ago, with 2.6 million jabs in the last 24 hours. EFE


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