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India sets world record with new daily Covid-19 cases

New Delhi — India has reported more than 314,000 new cases of coronavirus as it struggled to prevent a surge in infections from overwhelming the healthcare system. This is the world’s largest outbreak of new infections in one day.

Hospitals in New Delhi and other hit cities keep patients away and lack oxygen, beds and other medicines.

Dr. AC Shukla, Head of Intensive Care Unit at Matachanandevi Hospital in Delhi, said: “The supplier has stopped answering our phone.”

The number of cases of coronavirus in India exceeded 200,000 daily for seven consecutive days, breaking the record on Thursday. The rapid spread of the virus moved the country to the center of a pandemic, quickly overwhelming a country where Covid-19 appeared to be largely controlled just a few weeks ago.

Some were vaccinated at an Indian stadium on Thursday.


Photo:

Anupam Nath / Associated Press

India has been striving for months to avoid the severe blockade that hit the economy last year, New Delhi was closed 6 days from Monday. Other regions followed, with Jharkhand imposing a week-long blockade starting Thursday, and India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, ordering a weekend blockade.

On Thursday, the city of Delhi was quiet as residents crouched in their homes, but increasing victims of the virus were apparent at city hospitals.

Outside, ambulances brought more patients, so families camp waiting for news of their loved ones. Inside, there was a long line in the emergency ward, said doctors and patient relatives. The stretcher doubled as a bed, and in some cases two patients shared the bed.

Many people in the city were desperately trying to get in.

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Large Sharma, 46, said he had been desperately calling hospitals in Delhi for space over the past few days. Four families test positive for Covid-19, and two are in urgent need of medical care.

After finding his uncle’s bed on Wednesday, Sharma was told by hospital authorities that he needed to arrange an oxygen cylinder. Otherwise, his uncle will be sent home.

“Most private hospitals refused to accept my family,” Sharma said. “They say they don’t have oxygen or remdesivir.”

Hospitals in the city reported a sharp shortage of oxygen, and many said they had enough left to last another 12-18 hours.

Sir Gangaram, a private hospital in Delhi, received 5,000 cubic meters of oxygen on Wednesday to avoid the crisis, said hospital chairman DS Lana. The hospital’s 519 Covid-19 beds were all filled and the intensive care unit had 142 patients who were heavily dependent on oxygen. He predicted that the latest oxygen supply would be exhausted by the end of the day.

“If the hospital doesn’t receive the supplies on time, the situation can get worse,” he said.

An official from the Indian Ministry of Health said that demand for oxygen has reached about 60% of the country’s total daily oxygen production and is expected to increase further. To maintain supply to hospitals, the government limits the use of oxygen in certain industries, runs a special “oxygen express” in the rail sector, and most needs liquid medical oxygen and oxygen bombs nationwide. He said he requested transportation to the area where he was.

India is also actively expanding its vaccine rollout, which will be available to all adults from May 1st, after limiting the dose to over 45 years of age. The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, announced on Wednesday that it will begin selling vaccines.

AstraZeneca

PLC is 400 rupees per state dose, or about $ 5.30, 600 rupees per private hospital dose when all adults are vaccinated.

The surge in the number of cases raises questions about the cause of this surge. Public health experts said the recent surge was driven by factors such as relaxation of social distance and wearing masks.

Lovers of Covid-19 patients at a hospital in Kolkata, India, on Thursday.


Photo:

Indra Nil Aditya / Zuma Press

There was also a potential superspreader event. Millions of people visited the town of Haridwar in northern Uttarakhand earlier this month to celebrate Kumbh Mela, where Hindus bathe on the Ganges, one of the world’s largest rallies. Politicians addressed tens of thousands at election rallies in five states.

“The dominant factor for me is the carelessness of social events, economic activity, and religious activity,” said the director of the CSIR Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, which runs one of the 10 state-owned labs responsible for the genome. Dr. Rakesh Mishra said. Virus sequencing.

All weddings, political rallies, shopping centers and restaurants have returned to pre-pandemic levels, he said. “They were very, very crowded.”

Indian health officials say they have also detected their presence Some highly infectious variantsIncludes those first identified in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, and those that may have originated in India, known as the double mutant.

As highly contagious variants of the coronavirus dominate the world, scientists are wondering why these new versions of the virus are spreading faster and what this means for vaccine efforts. I’m competing to understand. According to new research, what is important may be the peplomer that gives the coronavirus an unmistakable shape. Illustration: Nick Collingwood / WSJ

The Indian subspecies was named because it has two mutations that were previously found separately in other subspecies, but never together in the same subspecies. Scientists in India, the United States, and other countries are studying in the lab to see how the virus reacts to antibodies, but little is known so far. In other variants, one mutation has been shown to increase viral infectivity and excel in antibody evasion, while other mutations excel in evading the body’s immune response. ..

In India, this variant accounted for 70.4% of the samples collected in the week leading up to March 25, compared to just three weeks ago, according to CovidCG, a tracking tool at MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Was 16.1%. This tool uses data from the GISAID Initiative, a global database of coronavirus genomes.

“This double mutant has a higher diffusion efficiency than the other mutants around it,” said Dr. Mishra. In India, “that’s why these numbers are increasing.”

According to Covid CG, Australia reported 40% of variants in the week leading up to April 15, compared to 14.3% three weeks ago. According to Covid CG, in some regions such as Asia and Oceania, including Australia and New Zealand, cases of double mutants in recently sequenced samples already outnumber those in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Australia said Thursday that it would reduce the number of citizens allowed to return from India and other countries that are hotspots in Covid. New Zealand, Hong Kong and Pakistan ban travelers from India, the UK bans anyone who has traveled to India in the last 10 days, exempts British, Irish or long-term residents It has been.

Relatives and staff carried the bodies of Covid-19 victims at a crematorium in New Delhi on Thursday.


Photo:

Saddam Hussein / AFP / Getty Images

Write to Shanley shan.li@wsj.com And Vibhuti Agarwal vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com

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India sets world record with new daily Covid-19 cases

Source link India sets world record with new daily Covid-19 cases

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