Scientists predict that the Covid-19 pandemic in India could peak in the next few days after the country has recorded more than 300,000 new infections in the past 12 days.
|Medical staff take samples at a Covid-19 testing center in Srinagar, India. Photo: AFP|
The total number of people infected with Covid-19 in India on May 3 reached 19.93 million, since the outbreak in this country. India recorded 368,147 new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours, while the number of deaths increased by 3,417 to a total of 218,959, according to data from the Ministry of Health of India. At least 3.4 million people with Covid-19 in India are being treated.
Medical experts believe that the actual numbers for the Covid-19 outbreak in India may be 5 to 10 times higher. Indian hospitals are running at full capacity while medical oxygen supplies have run out. The morgue as well as the crematorium were inadequate as India struggled with the second wave of Covid-19 for almost two weeks.
“We struggled every time to get our oxygen quota,” said BH Narayan Rao, an official in the southern Indian town of Chamarajanagar. “It’s a fight that goes on every day,” BH Narayan Rao said about the struggle for medical oxygen.
Outside a temple in New Delhi, a group of Sikh volunteers are supplying oxygen to Covid-19 patients lying on a bench inside a makeshift tent. A new patient arrives every 20 minutes.
“No one should have died from lack of oxygen,” said Gurpreet Singh Rummy, who runs the oxygen service group.
The number of Covid-19 positive cases were tested on May 3 for the first time, according to the Indian Ministry of Health decline as of April 15.
As predicted by the Indian government advisory group, the number of Covid-19 infections could reach its peak on May 5, a few days earlier than forecast, because the virus has spread faster than expected.
At least 11 states and territories in India have adopted travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reluctant to impose a nationwide blockade over concerns. bad impact on the economy.
Commenting on the Covid-19 epidemic in India, Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan said: “Only a national blockade at home and a declaration of a medical emergency will help. Current health care problem “.
India is in the biggest crisis since Prime Minister Modi took office in 2014. Prime Minister Modi has been criticized for not acting early to curb the spread of Covid-19 and let millions of people go. wear a mask to attend religious festivals and large-scale political campaigns in 5 states during March and April.
In early March, the scientific advisors of the Indian government issued a warning about a new strain of Covid-19 capable of faster spread existing in India. Four of these scientific advisers said that the federal government had defied the warning and did not seek to take aggressive anti-epidemic measures.
The next general election of India will take place in 2024. It can be seen that Prime Minister Modi’s handling of the crisis will affect him or his ruling Bharatiya Janata party. The Bharatiya Janata Party was defeated in a recent poll in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, although it previously won the state. vicinity Assam.
In a letter on May 2, leaders of 13 opposition parties urged Prime Minister Modi to urgently launch a nationwide free immunization program and prioritize oxygen supply to hospitals and medical centers. practice.
Despite being the world’s largest vaccine producer, India currently does not have enough vaccines for domestic demand. Only 9% of the country’s 1.35 billion population has received one dose of the vaccine. Several states in India have postponed adult vaccinations due to lack of vaccines.
India has struggled to increase production capacity to exceed 80 million doses of vaccine per month due to a lack of raw materials and after a fire at the Serum Institute, which makes vaccine of the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
Meanwhile, vaccine maker Pfizer is in talks with the Indian government to quickly approve its vaccine, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on LinkedIn.
Last month, India said the pharmaceutical regulator would make a decision within three days on urgent licensing applications for vaccines from abroad, including the Pfizer vaccine.
India’s Covid-19 variant has so far spread to at least 17 countries, including the UK, Iran, and Switzerland, prompting many to declare border closures on visitors from India.