India's daily Covid-19 cases surge to 300,000

Photo: AP

India reported a new record of new Covid-19 cases with daily numbers surging for a twelfth day in a row to 300,000. Official data put total number of cases since the beginning of pandemic to over 20m. Death-toll also spiked to at least 3,417 new victims, Reuters reported. However, the numbers in reality are believed to be much higher as the country lacks the potential for exact counting and statistics. Medical experts reckon real numbers are 10 to 15 times higher. With pandemic crippling the health and social systems, thousands of infected are left outside of the official data.

Hospitals have filled to capacity, medical oxygen supplies have run short and morgues and crematoriums have been swamped as the country deals with the surge in cases. At least 11 states and union territories have imposed some form of restrictions to try and stem infections, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown, concerned about the economic impact.

The spike in infections is India’s biggest crisis since Modi took office in 2014. Modi has been criticised for not taking steps earlier to curb the spread and for letting millions of largely unmasked people attend religious festivals and crowded political rallies in five states during March and April. A forum of scientific advisers set up by the government warned Indian officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus taking hold in the country, five scientists who are part of the forum told Reuters. Despite the warning, four of the scientists said the federal government did not seek to impose major restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. read

Despite being the world's biggest producer of vaccines, India does not have enough for itself only about 9% of its 1.4 billion people have had a dose of Covid-19 jab.

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