India has set a new global record for a rise in daily coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day, while deaths from COVID-19 also jumped by an all-time high over the last 24 hours on Monday.
Several nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, have offered support as India’s under-funded healthcare system struggles to cope with the increasing demand for medical oxygen and hospital beds.
Infections in the past 24 hours rose to 352,991, with overcrowded hospitals in Delhi and elsewhere turning away patients after running out of supplies of medical oxygen and beds. Deaths rose by record 2,812 to reach a total of 195,123.
“Currently the hospital is in beg-and-borrow mode and it is an extreme crisis situation,” said a spokesman of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the capital
In some of the worst-hit cities, including the capital, bodies were being burnt in makeshift facilities offering mass services.
Television channel NDTV broadcast images of three health workers in the eastern state of Bihar pulling a body along the ground on its way to cremation, as stretchers ran short.
Meanwhile, after facing criticism over “indifference” to India, the Biden-Harris dispensation jolted into action on Sunday, pledging to commandeer all possible supplies and resources to help New Delhi in its struggle to contain the pandemic.
After almost 72 hours of silence from the time India began to breach the record infections mid-week, President Joe Biden tweeted, “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need.”
Biden conspicuously invoked New Delhi’s help to the US during its crisis after his administration was trolled relentlessly for ingratitude, given India exertions in providing therapeutics and vaccines for the US and many other countries at a time it (India) thought it had the domestic situation under control.
Moments later, vice-president Kamala Harris tweeted: The US is working closely with the Indian government to rapidly deploy additional support and supplies during an alarming Covid-19 outbreak. As we provide assistance, we pray for the people of India—including its courageous healthcare workers.
TWITTER ROW: Thousands across India are outraged after the government ordered social media platform Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of the virus.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed it had blocked some material from being viewed in India.
The country faces a massive surge in cases, with many of its hospitals facing an oxygen shortage.
One Twitter user accused the government of “finding it easier to take down tweets than ensure oxygen supplies”.