Oxygen disruption in India hospital claims 22 patients
Twenty-two COVID-19 patients on ventilators died in a hospital in western India on Wednesday when their oxygen supply was interrupted by a leak in a supply line, officials said.
Suraj Mandhar, the district collector, said the supply of oxygen has since resumed to other patients. Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.
India has been in the grips of a second wave of infections blamed on lax government rules and a new “double mutant” virus variant, adding almost 3.5 million new cases this month alone.
Health ministry data on Wednesday showed a record 2,023 fatalities and 295,000 new cases in 24 hours, among the world’s biggest daily case totals and on a par with numbers seen in the United States during a deadly surge in January.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country of 1.3 billion people was “once again fighting a big fight”.
“The situation was under control till a few weeks back, and then this second corona wave came like a storm,” he said.
There had been hopes that despite its packed cities and poor health care, India had managed to dodge largely unscathed a pandemic that has killed more than three million people around the world.
Recent weeks have seen mass gatherings, including millions attending the Kumbh Mela religious festival, as well as political rallies, lavish weddings and cricket matches against England.
Oman will bar entry to arrivals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh starting April 24, as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Omani state TV reported on Wednesday.
In the UAE, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) announced that it conducted 191,886 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.
As part of its intensified testing campaign, MOHAP announced 1,931 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 502,791.
According to the Ministry, the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care.
MOHAP also announced 2 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,561.
The ministry announced that 111,176 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours.
The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) announced on Wednesday the availability of free Pfizer-biontech COVID-19 vaccine for eligible residents and citizens in six selected centres in Abu Dhabi.
Prior appointments are necessary to avail of the Pfizer-biontech jabs, SEHA said.
“SEHA” stated that the centres where the Pfizer vaccine is available are Al Zafaranah Diagnostic and Screening Centre, Madinat Mohammed Bin Zayed Healthcare Centre and Al Bahia Healthcare Centre in Abu Dhabi, Oud Al Toubah Diagnostic and Screening Centre and Neima Healthcare Centre in Al Ain, and Al Dhafra Family Medicine Centre in Al Dhafra.
The total number of doses provided up to today stands at 9,900,002 with a rate of vaccine distribution of 100.10 doses per 100 people.
The Ministry of Education decided that the exams for the end of the current academic year 2020-2021 in public and private schools that follow the ministerial curriculum be held on June 20 for students of the twelfth grade of both general and advanced streams and on June 21 for students of grades one to eleven.
The EU’S vaccine drive still lags far behind that of Britain or the United States. Only about 1 in 5 of the bloc’s 450 million inhabitants have received their first shot — approximately half the US share. But European officials say they have turned the corner.
France celebrated several vaccine milestones recently, including dispensing at least one dose to practically 100% of the country’s 700,000 nursing home residents. France will soon become the first European Union member to send some of its own COVID vaccine supplies to developing countries via the international COVAX scheme, hoping others will join its bid to stave off new variants and compete with Russia and China.
UAE reports 1,931 COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths; AD company to give Pfizer vaccine free; Oman to suspend travel from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh; France starts Europe’s vaccine donations to poorer states; Europe lines up more shots.