Covid: India breaks another global record and hospitals run out of oxygen

Covid: India breaks another global record and hospitals run out of oxygen
The relative of a person who died of Covid-19 at a cremation in Jammu, India, on April 25, 2021. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: As India fights a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections, that is killing thousands of people each day in hospitals and outside, international efforts to help tackle India’s crisis are hastening, with both the United States and Britain pledging aid and much-needed medical supplies.

The second wave began in March and has escalated rapidly. India has been recording more than a million new Covid-19 cases in just three days. For the past two weeks, medical facilities across the country have been running out of oxygen and ICU beds, with patients left outside of hospitals waiting for care.

India reported 352,991 new cases and 2,812 virus-related deaths on Monday, marking the world’s highest daily Covid-19 caseload for the fifth straight day. The situation is particularly dire in New Delhi, the country’s capital, which is under lockdown until May 3. The city is facing severe shortage of life-saving oxygen.

Delhi does not produce its own oxygen and relies on the central government supply, according to Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Several hospitals in Delhi tweeted SOS messages over the weekend appealing for oxygen supplies.

At least 20 critically ill patients died on Sunday after oxygen supply was delayed at one Delhi hospital.Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet on Sunday that his administration will set up 551 oxygen generation plants “in every district to ensure adequate oxygen availability.”

The federal government has come under fierce criticism within the country for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has seen overwhelmed residents and hospitals post pleas on social media for more supplies from state and federal officials. Many have turned to the black market in a desperate attempt to save their loved ones.

You may read: India: Patients struggle at home as hospitals choke