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India reports over 200,000 daily new cases for the sixth consecutive day

India reports over 200,000 daily new cases for the sixth consecutive day

India’s coronavirus crisis is deepening, with hospitals buckling under increasing pressure from the second wave of infections. The South Asian country reported 259,170 new cases and 1,761 deaths over a 24-hour period on Tuesday, according to government data. It is the sixth straight day that India’s daily case count exceeded 200,000 while the daily death toll — still comparatively low — is inching higher.

Cases started rising since February and so far this month, India has reported more than 3.1 million new cases and over 18,000 deaths. The total cumulative cases have topped 15 million, making India the second worst-infected country behind the United States. Hospitals are turning away patients due to a shortage of beds — including those who are critically ill. In some instances, non-related patients are being forced to share beds, according to media reports. Health-care facilities are also low on oxygen supply and the government is reportedly diverting oxygen meant for industries for medical use.

VijayRaghavan said the government is trying to address the stress on the medical system by moving health-care workers from one location to another, and setting up emergency hospitals. Political rallies, where large crowds gathered mostly without masks, and a string of religious congregation in various parts of the country are said to have contributed to the second wave. There is also growing concern about the double mutation of a Covid-19 variant that was discovered in India, which could make the virus more contagious.

The epicenter of the second wave is India’s richest state, Maharashtra, which is home to the the country’s financial capital of Mumbai. The western state alone has reported over a million new cases since the start of April. Maharashtra is already in a state of partial lockdown until May 1. But reports say that further restrictions are expected as the daily case count shows little signs of slowing down. National capital Delhi as well as India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, are also among a handful of regions and states where Covid-19 cases are surging. India has so far administered more than 127 million vaccine doses as worries mount over supply shortages. From May 1, India said it will allow anyone above 18 to get inoculated.

India reports over 200,000 daily new cases for the sixth consecutive day, CNBC, Apr 21

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