Gulf News

Surge hits new record as oxygen runs short

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India’s brutal new Covid outbreak set new records yesterday with more than 2,000 deaths in 24 hours as hospitals in New Delhi ran perilously low on oxygen.

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 yesterday showed over 295,000 new cases in 24 hours and 2,023 fatalities, among the world’s biggest daily totals of the pandemic and on a par with numbers seen in the United States in January.

Meanwhile, production of key coronaviru­s drugs slowed or even halted at some factories and there were delays inviting bids for oxygen generation plants, according to press reports.

Short supply

Now distraught relatives are being forced to pay exorbitant rates on the black market for medicine and oxygen and WhatsApp groups are awash with desperate pleas for help.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who on Tuesday went into self-isolation after his wife tested positive, tweeted late Tuesday that some hospitals in the capital “are left with just a few hours of oxygen”.

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