Over 2,000 Covid-19 deaths as Indian healthcare crumbles under 2nd wave

New Delhi, Apr 21 (EFE).- India Wednesday reported more than 2,000 Covid-19 deaths in the highest single-day toll for the country with a fragile healthcare infrastructure that has started crumbling under the weight of the devastating second coronavirus wave.

The country also broke the record daily tally of infections with nearly 300,000 new cases registered in the last 24 hours from Tuesday morning.

According to the federal health ministry, 2,023 people lost their lives to the disease Tuesday, taking the overall Covid-19 fatalities to 182,553.

With 295,041 new cases, India’s Covid-19 tally is now 15.6 million.

More than 2.1 million patients are currently battling with the infection either in hospitals or their homes, the federal health ministry data showed.

India is the second-worst affected country by the disease, only behind the United States with 31.7 million cases.

The rapid spike in daily cases began in February when the world’s second-most populous country had started hoping to recover from the disease with fewer than 10,000 daily infections.

The havoc-wreaking second wave has nearly collapsed the country’s healthcare system, with hospitals even struggling to shore up supplies of medical oxygen.

The authorities of the hardest-hit states like Maharashtra, and the capital New Delhi, have reported a low supply of medical oxygen and medicines in their hospitals amid a rising number of patients needing breathing and ventilator support.

“Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge the Centre to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

“I urge (the) central govt wid folded hands to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi.”

The capital, like many other regions hit hard by the second wave, is under lockdown since Monday as the authorities are scrambling to arrest the surge amid increasing demand for hospital beds.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation Tuesday night and stressed the need to prevent a nationwide lockdown.

Modi asked states to avoid shutting businesses and “consider lockdowns as the last option.”

“They should earnestly try to avoid lockdown and focus on micro-containment zones,” the prime minister said.

India sees its vaccination campaign as the main tool to fight the virus.

The country has administered 128 million doses since the start of the vaccination drive in January. EFE


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