India Struggles to Provide Medical Supplies as COVID Cases Continue to Rise

New Delhi, India\’s capital, reported 24,000 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour span. The country is facing a severe shortage of hospital beds as reported by the Chief Minister. The country\’s total coronavirus case count surpassed 200,000 for the third day in a row.

India\’s Cheif Minister Warns Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister, described the condition as \”extremely critical\” and \”concerning,\”. He further stated that \”oxygen is in short supply\”. In addition, about one out of every four samples for the virus came back positive. He also said that beds are quickly filling up.

New Delhi is the worst-affected district in India, which has recently enforced a weekend curfew. It has the second biggest outbreak of coronavirus infections straining the country\’s health system.

India ‘not so good\’

In recent weeks, there has been increased criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi\’s government handling of the health crisis. Regardless of the virus, religious festivals and election rallies continue. Amidst this, there are claims of hospital bed shortages, oxygen cylinder shortages, and vaccine dose shortages.

Over the last 24 hours, India recorded 234,692 COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases to nearly 14.5 million, second only to the United States. The number of people who died from the illness increased by 1,341 to 175,649.

After enforcing one of the world\’s toughest curfews for nearly three months last year, India\’s government eased almost all restrictions by the start of 2021, while several states, such as New Delhi and Maharashtra, have imposed localised restrictions.

Test for Modi

\”This is Narendra Modi’s biggest crisis yet. It is bigger than any security threat, external or internal, or even the economic attrition of 2020,\” political commentator Shekhar Gupta wrote in a column on Saturday.

Nawab Malik, a Maharashtra minister, accused Modi\’s federal government of limiting Remdesivir supplies to the state on Twitter. Mansukh Mandaviya, a minister in Modi\’s government, refuted the charge, adding that proper supplies were being planned.

Religious and Festive Gatherings Continue

Mandaviya said on Twitter that the government had interfered and that the price of Remdesivir injections had been lowered drastically. After hundreds of thousands of ascetics and devout Hindus flocked to the Ganges for the Kumbh Mela holy festival, Modi called for caution on Saturday, saying on Twitter that the festival should now be kept \”symbolic.\”

One of the religious leaders, Swami Avdheshanand, responded to Modi\’s request by urging devotees not to assemble in big numbers. Devout Hindus claim that swimming in the holy Ganges cleanses people of their sins and brings freedom from the circle of life and death during the Kumbh Mela.

Experts also cautioned that more infectious variants of the disease could spread, especially during large-scale religious festivals and political rallies. Modi was expected to address two rallies in the eastern state of West Bengal on Saturday, where state elections are taking place. Thousands of participants have attended such protests in recent times, but only a small percentage of them adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.


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