India reported more than 314,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday—the highest single-day case count reported by any country since the start of the pandemic—as the unrelenting second wave of the pandemic has pushed the country’s health infrastructure to its limits with several states reporting critical oxygen and drug shortages.
COVIDNewsByMIB/status/1385122794086694912″ target=”_blank” class=”color-link” title=”https://www.mygov.in/covid-19/” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=”ExternalLink:https://twitter.com/COVIDNewsByMIB/status/1385122794086694912″ aria-label=”According to”>According to the Indian government, the country reported 314,835 new cases on Thursday, which is higher than the previous record of 300,310 cases the U.S. had reported on January 2 according to the Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 tracker.
The country also reported 2,104 new deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, its worst single-day toll.
Despite the grim numbers, some reports suggest the actual situation in India may actually be worse with several parts of the country severely underreporting the total number of Covid-19 deaths.
Several states have reported a crippling shortage of oxygen and due to this, the Delhi High Court has ordered the national government to divert oxygen from industrial use to hospitals.
132 million. That’s the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses that have been administered across India, according to COVIDNewsByMIB/status/1385095366085775360/photo/1″ target=”_blank” class=”color-link” title=”https://twitter.com/COVIDNewsByMIB/status/1385095366085775360/photo/1″ rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=”ExternalLink:https://twitter.com/COVIDNewsByMIB/status/1385095366085775360/photo/1″ aria-label=”data released”>data released by the government on Thursday. But only 19 million of the country’s 1.4 billion people have been fully vaccinated, which leaves a large proportion of the country’s population still vulnerable to the disease.
Public officials and health experts have speculated a new variant of the virus, first discovered in India could be behind the current surge. The B.1.617 or so-called “double mutant” is still being studied by scientists but some believe it may be more infectious and may also somewhat blunt vaccine efficacy. Recently, almost 60% of all positive cases in India’s Covid-19 epicenter, Maharashtra, have been caused by the B.1.617 variant. However, part of the blame is also being placed on the country’s government and its Prime Minister Narendra Modi—who had declared victory over Covid-19 in January. Modi and his political rivals have held several jam-packed political rallies in several states currently undergoing legislative elections. The government has also failed to curb a multiday Hindu festival in the North Indian city of Haridwar which saw some 3 million devotees gather on the banks of the Ganges river every day earlier this month, fueling fears of a massive uncontrolled outbreak. Several regional media outlets in states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have also questioned the official Covid-19 death counts released by the states’ governments which are sometimes 10-times lower than the number of people getting cremated under Covid-19 protocols.
‘It is much worse this time’: India’s devastating second wave (Financial Times)
‘Double Mutant’ Covid Variant: Here’s What We Know As Israel Reports Vaccine Efficacy Against Variant First Detected In India (Fintech Zoom)
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