NEW DELHI (INDIA) – Data from the health ministry show that India reported a record daily increase of coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours. the data also showed that the deaths from COVID-19 rose by 1,501 to reach a total of 177,150. This situation has in turn aggravated shortages of oxygen supplies and hospital beds in some of the worst-hit cities of the country.
India reported 261,500 new cases, taking the total caseload to nearly 14.8 million, second only to the United States which has reported more than 31 million infections.
India, hit by the spread of more contagious variants of the disease, is grappling with a severe shortage of hospital beds, oxygen supplies and critical medicines such as the anti-viral drug Remdesivir. Stung by the shortages of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, people used Twitter to seek help and post pictures of overwhelmed hospitals.
Concerned over a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night asked authorities to pull out all the stops to ramp up the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
Modi also reviewed his administration’s overall preparedness and stressed the need to ensure the availability of hospital beds and the supplies of oxygen and ventilators. He also asked his team to work closely with local governments, especially the 12 states ravaged by a surge in coronavirus cases.
The Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party, which is in power in the capital, New Delhi, mocked Modi’s political rallies by posting pictures on social media of funeral pyres at overburdened crematoriums of the city.