India on Thursday reported a single-day rise of over 200,000 Covid-19 cases for the first time, putting a severe strain on health care infrastructure as crematoria and graveyards struggled to keep up with the death toll.
More than 200,000 cases were logged in the past 24 hours in India, where authorities are grappling with shortages of vaccines, treatments and hospital beds. Having let its guard down with mass religious festivals, political rallies and almost unfettered sports crowds, the nation has this month seen two million fresh infections -- a figure that looks set to continue growing.
This week India overtook Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases worldwide.
Despite New Delhi’s desperation to avoid a repeat of the economically painful lockdown of a year ago, some states -- such as Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai-- are tightening the screws to prevent deaths.
With lockdown looming, millions of migrant workers streamed out of Mumbai in scenes reminiscent of the exodus from Indian towns and cities a year ago when the government halted all activity almost overnight.
As cases mount, hospitals are struggling to cope, running short of beds, oxygen and coronavirus medicines like remdesivir.
And Delhi’s much publicised vaccine drive to inoculate all 1.3 billion citizens has stumbled.
Just 114 million shots have been administered so far --and stocks are running low, according to authorities.
NEW DELHI (AFP/dpa) April15, 2021