India has yet another day of record as 200,739 COVID-19 cases were reported during the last 24 hours, according to data issued by the health ministry on Thursday.
Due to uncontrolled rise in coronavirus case, many hospitals treating patients reported severe shortages of beds and oxygen.
Deaths stood at 1,038, taking the total to 173,123, the data showed on Thursday. The country’s total caseload reached 14.1 million, just behind the United States that leads the global tally with 31.4 million cases.
Thursday’s surge was the seventh record daily increase in the last eight days and comes as India battles a massive second wave of infections that has its epicentre in the economically significant state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai. The western state accounts for about a quarter of the country’s total cases.
Hospitals and doctors in Maharashtra as well as other regions, including Gujarat and Delhi, in the north reported chaotic scenes as healthcare facilities were overwhelmed with a surge in admissions of COVID-19 patients.
“The situation is horrible. We are a 900-bed hospital, but there are about 60 patients waiting and we don’t have space for them,” said Avinash Gawande, an official at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur, a commercial hub in Maharashtra.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat, there was a long line of ambulances where patients were being treated, as there was no space in the hospitals.
The Indian government said the country was producing oxygen at its full capacity for the last two days and it had boosted output. The health ministry also said in a statement that it had surplus stock of oxygen, but the situation seems otherwise.
In Mumbai, two huge complexes for patients were being set up as the Maharashtra government initiated a range of curbs on movement, gatherings and commercial establishments for two weeks.
Beginning Wednesday night, all shops, malls and e-commerce deliveries except of essential items like food, groceries and medicine were suspended until May 1.
In capital Delhi, too, daily COVID-19 cases are hitting new records, with doctors warning the surge could be deadlier than in 2020.
According to the data, Delhi recorded 17,282 cases over the past 24 hours – the highest single-day figure so far.
More than a dozen hotels and banquet halls in the city were ordered to be converted into COVID-19 centers attached to hospitals.