India reported a record of nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases with health services in the worst-hit cities of Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai swamped by the rising infections.
India’s tally has reached 286,579 confirmed cases, the fifth highest in the world, with 8,102 deaths, including 357 in the last 24 hours.
The spike comes as the government moved ahead with the reopening of restaurants, shopping centres and places of worship in most of India after a lockdown of more than two months. Subways, hotels and schools remain closed.
The actual infection numbers are thought to be higher because of limited testing.
The Health Ministry said it was ramping up the capacity with daily testing of more than 145,000 people. The number of tests in India crossed five million on Wednesday.
Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, president of the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum said India was ‘sitting on a ticking time bomb’.
He added: ‘Unless and until the government increases its spending on healthcare, things won’t change. A lot of people will die.
‘But if some strong policy decisions are made not only in Delhi but across India, we can minimise the damage.’Half of Delhi’s 8,200 hospital beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients are already full and officials are projecting more than half a million cases in the city alone by July 31.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has come under fire for imposing a ten-week nationwide lockdown that crippled the economy and triggered a humanitarian crisis as unemployed migrant workers fled for their ancestral villages on foot.
But in recent weeks, the government has eased lockdown restrictions, resulting in nearly 10,000 new infections per day.
Nurses at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India’s premier public hospital in Delhi, have threatened to go on strike over ever-lengthening shifts and crowded personal protective equipment changing rooms.
India, (daily Mail),
11 June 2020 -