Buckling

India is in trouble.

India’s healthcare system is buckling as a record surge in Covid-19 cases puts pressure on hospital beds and drains oxygen supplies.

Families are left pleading for their relatives who are desperately ill, with some patients left untreated for hours.

Crematoriums are organising mass funeral pyres.

On Friday India reported 332,730 new cases of coronavirus, setting a world record for a second day running. Deaths were numbered at 2,263 in 24 hours.

Not a per capita record though, I think.

This wave is worse than the first one.

On 10 February, at the start of the second wave, India confirmed 11,000 cases – and in the next 50 days, the daily average was around 22,000 cases. But in the following 10 days, cases rose sharply with the daily average reaching 89,800.

Experts say this rapid increase shows that the second wave is spreading much faster across the country. Dr A Fathahudeen, who is part of Kerala state’s Covid taskforce, said the rise was not entirely unexpected given that India let its guard down when daily infections in January fell to fewer than 20,000 from a peak of over 90,000 in September.

Big religious gatherings, the reopening of most public places and crowded election rallies¬†are being blamed for the uptick. Dr Fathahudeen said there were warning signs in February but “we did not get our act together”.

“I said in February that Covid had not gone anywhere and a tsunami would hit us if urgent actions were not taken. Sadly, a tsunami has indeed hit us now,” he added.

Hospital beds are filling up.

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