India reports over 200 000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours
CAPE TOWN - India's Health Ministry has announced 200,739 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours as the country braces itself for a deadly second wave.
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, cautioned that the second wave significantly affected younger patients, particularly those between the ages of 20 and 40, and that 65% of new cases in the city were people under the age of 45, according to The Guardian.
This week, India became the country with the second-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally.
Thursday's increase in Covid-19 cases was the seventh consecutive daily increase in the past eight days as bodies piled up outside mortuaries.
India's capital, Delhi, reported 17,282 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest number since the pandemic hit the city last year.
The financial district of Mumbai, India's largest city, has been placed under immediate lockdown as authorities urgently attempt to contain the outbreak.
According to Sky News, around one quarter of all Covid-19 infections occurred in Maharashtra state, home to Mumbai.
The nine states with the highest number of cases in the past 24 hours are Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, West Bengal and Bihar.
From tomorrow, Rajasthan will be under a night curfew from 6pm to 5am.
On Wednesday, Rajasthan registered 6,200 new Covid incidents, including 1,325 in Jaipur, according to NDTV.
The city of Varanasi confirmed 1,585 new cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in Uttar Pradesh to more than 10,000 and making it the third-highest region of Covid-19 infections after the cities of Lucknow and Prayagraj.
Hospitals are reporting severe shortages of beds and oxygen.
The central government directed all 14 hospitals in Delhi to devote themselves exclusively to Covid patients but partially reversed the decision after a public outcry.
A total of 101 private hospitals will be required to set aside 60% of their beds for coronavirus patients.
"The situation is horrible. We are a 900-bed hospital, but there are about 60 patients waiting, and we don't have space for them," said Avinash Gawande, an official at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur.
The central government said that the country had been generating oxygen at full capacity for the past two days.
"The supply can run for only three hours. There are more than 7,000 active cases in the area, and more than 3,000 people require oxygen supply daily," said Kshitij Thakur, a local politician in the Vasai-Virar municipality of Maharashtra, in a tweet directed at the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We have 35-year-olds with pneumonia in intensive care, which was not happening last year," Dhiren Gupta, a paediatrician at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera.
According to the health ministry, India, home to the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, has administered more than three million vaccine doses, bringing the number to 114 million.