The Borneo Post (Sabah)
India daily virus cases double in ten days
India’s daily coronavirus caseload has doubled in ten days, with more than 200,000 new infections logged Thursday as authorities grapple with shortages of vaccines, treatments and hospital beds.
Having let its guard down with mass religious festivals, political rallies and crowds at cricket matches, India is experiencing a huge second wave, with almost two million fresh infections this month alone.
This week, it overtook Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases worldwide.
In the past day it also recorded over a thousand deaths, health ministry data showed, taking its total to 175,000, although on a per capita basis India is far behind many other countries.
After a lockdown a year ago caused widespread misery and one of the sharpest downturns of any major economy, the central government is desperate to avoid a hugely unpopular second shutdown.
But many states are tightening the screws, in particular Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai, which this week introduced tougher restrictions for its 125 million people.
This has prompted many migrant workers to flee Mumbai and other cities in the state, in scenes reminiscent of the exodus from Indian towns and cities a year ago when the government halted all activity almost overnight.
Hospitals around India are now struggling to cope, running short of beds, oxygen and coronavirus medicines like remdesivir.
India’s drive to vaccinate its 1.3 billion people has also hit obstacles, with just 114 million shots administered so far and stocks running low, according to local authorities.
The government has also put the brakes on the Serum Institute – the world’s largest maker of vaccines by volume – exporting to other countries.