India’s health crisis deepens with new grim coronavirus records

New Delhi, May 6 (EFE).- India Thursday posted more than 412,000 new Covid-19 cases and nearly 4,000 deaths, adding another grim daily record amid collapsing healthcare system that has caused oxygen and bed shortages in hospitals.

The federal health ministry data showed 412,262 new cases reported in the last 24 hours from Wednesday morning, raising the overall caseload of more than 21 million.

It is the second time in less than a week that daily infections in India have breached the 400,000 mark after crossing the grim milestone on May 1.

As the second wave of the virus spread rapidly wreaking havoc with India’s below-par healthcare system, the country has added 5.75 million infections in the more than two weeks.

The virus also claimed 3,980 lives over the past day, the highest daily deaths recorded to date since the pandemic began last year.

The overall death toll due to the virus has reached 230,168.

However, experts believe that the figures were an undercount due a large number of unreported infections and deaths.

The steep rise in cases and fatalities has strained the healthcare system amid growing demands for medical oxygen in overcrowded hospitals.

India has received medical help from more than 40 countries and several new oxygen plants have been operationalized or were in the process of being installed.

Most of the Indian hospitals don’t have oxygen-generating plants to feed directly to patients.

The life-saving gas is transported in tankers and stored in cylinders.

According to the federal health ministry, two plants are already functional at the capital’s two premier hospitals while another 500 such facilities would come up at other health centers “in the next three months.”

The Indian government denied reports that it was slow in distributing medical supplies from abroad, assuring that the aid “has been sent to states and institutions.”

In some cases, the oxygen generators have also been delivered but are not yet operational.

This is the case with one of the centers of the private-run Max chain of hospitals, where one of these facilities from France was received last Sunday.

“It still doesn’t work, it probably will tomorrow,” a Max spokesperson said.

India is hugely relying on its vaccination program to fight the virus curb.

It recently began the third phase of the ambitious inoculation drive that allows vaccination for the entire population over 18.

However, the vaccination rate is too slow due to the lack of jabs.

But the vaccine production is expected to get a boost with the United States supporting a waiver of intellectual property protections for Covid-19 jabs.

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