Workers unload empty oxygen cylinders returning from hospitals at a gas supplier facility in Bengaluru, India. Photo: AP
world

India records world's biggest single-day rise in coronavirus cases

23 Comments
By Sanjeev Miglani

India marked a new milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, reporting 314,835 new daily cases, the highest one-day tally anywhere, as its second wave and similar surges elsewhere raised new fears about the ability of health services to cope.

Hospitals across northern and western India including the capital, New Delhi, have issued notices to say they have only a few hours of medical oxygen required to keep COVID-19 patients alive.

More than two-thirds of hospitals had no vacant beds, according to the Delhi government's online data base and doctors advised patients to stay at home.

"The situation is very critical," Dr Kirit Gadhvi, president of the Medical Association in the western city of Ahmedabad, told Reuters.

"Patients are struggling to get beds in COVID-19 hospitals. There is especially acute shortage of oxygen."

Krutika Kuppalli, assistant professor at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Medical University of South Carolina in the United States, said on Twitter the crisis was leading to a collapse of the healthcare system.

The previous record one-day rise in cases was held by the United States, which had 297,430 new cases on one day in January, though its tally has since fallen sharply.

India's total cases are now at 15.93 million, while deaths rose by 2,104 to reach a total of 184,657, according to the latest health ministry data.

Television showed images of people with empty oxygen cylinders crowding refilling facilities in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh as they scrambled to save relatives in hospital.

"We never thought a second wave would hit us so hard," Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the executive chairman of Biocon & Biocon Biologics, an Indian healthcare firm, wrote in the Economic Times.

"Complacency led to unanticipated shortages of medicines, medical supplies and hospital beds."

Similar surges of infections elsewhere, in South America in particular, are threatening to overwhelm other health services.

India has launched a vaccination drive but only a tiny fraction of the population has had the shots.

Authorities have announced that vaccines will be available to anyone over the age of 18 from May 1 but India won't have enough shots for the 600 million people who will become eligible, experts say.

Health experts said India had let its guard down when the virus seemed to be under control during the winter, when new daily cases were about 10,000, and it lifted restrictions to allow big gatherings.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has come in for criticism for holding packed political rallies for local elections and allowing a religious festival at which millions gathered.

On Thursday, despite the biggest public health emergency the country has faced in a generation, people were voting in the eastern state of West Bengal for a new state assembly in an election that Modi has been campaigning in.

"It's a festival of democracy and everyone is participating. You can see the queues," said Krishna Kalyan, a candidate from Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Experts say new variants, in particular a "double mutant" variant that originated in India are largely responsible for the new spikes in cases.

"The double mutant ... is considerably more infectious than the older strain of virus," said Gautam I. Menon, a professor at Ashoka University.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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India did 1.6 million tests yesterday. So yes, the large number of infected is not surprising.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

If you have ever been to India you will clearly know why this is not surprising. Sooooo many people, poor amenities and general hygiene makes spread almost inevitable. It is not just infections, death rate there is rising also. Here are some interesting stats.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9496095/Britain-falls-20-worst-hit-countries-excess-deaths-Covid-pandemic.html

Note Japan nowhere to be seen on this list.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Personally I think you can’t talk about that one India. They also have a remarkable IT and chemical industry, produce vaccines a lot and so on. Also , other countries have a high population too and not such severe situations. Maybe, they should just apply some of their technology and force that until the infections get back to some more normal values. Tracking with AI and big data, computer aided distribution of vaccines, patients and the like. I know , that probably doesn’t work immediately in slums or area with poorer people , not reachable by phones or other IT devices. But starting in high developed areas you can establish the necessary measures also there. I really wonder why they don’t use their own technology advantages that they have in some branches and geographical areas.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

10% of population in India - 130 Million already got jabs. Yeah 10% is a fraction of population...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hospitals across northern and western India including the capital, New Delhi, have issued notices to say they have only a few hours of medical oxygen required to keep COVID-19 patients alive.

Just awful. We can only hope for a slowdown in cases and deaths soon - the trajectory is shocking.

I wonder if our resident conspiracy theorists would tell these people about a ‘scamdemic’.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The US in its peak had 297K. Compare the proportion of the population. If you really want to compare India with any other country compare with entire Europe. Avg 30k death per day is normal for India. It is alarming but just do not go by the absolute number. Also, it would be interesting to see:

Number of cases in Japan(population of India/population of Japan)(no of test conducted per million in India/nos per million in Japan)

547000(1.45 billion/126million)(200000/87000)=54700011.52.3= 14.45 million (cases in India 15.50 million)

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"Complacency led to unanticipated shortages of medicines, medical supplies and hospital beds."

Most important sentence in this article. Is the J-Gov learning from the experiences of other countries? I doubt it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Note Japan nowhere to be seen on this list.

A perfect example of complacency. Couldn't possibly have here right? Not in Japan right!?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Many posters are saying now that warm weather is coming to Japan we do not have to worry about infection rates. Good thing its winter now in India so the infection rate is low there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No wonder Suga and Bo Jo bailed on going there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope India and Brazil get back to their feet soon, these very large populations running off course give me anxiety

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seth,

Will not happen without better leadership, especially in Brazil as their President is, hard to believe, worst than Trump in first denying and then totally mismanaging the pandemic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Megalomaniac Modi who loves taking credit for everything seems a bit quiet now. But for sure, his IT brigade is already blaming opposition ruled states for his incompetence.

Imposed the world's strictest lockdown when cases were a few thousand, but forgot about the daily wagers who would starve to death without regular work

Opened up when cases were rising without any future planning for taking care of subsequent waves

Thought that simply vaccinating the entire population will lead to an end to the pandemic. An uneducated buffoon will not understand that viruses mutate, and the existing vaccines might not work against variants

For such a large population his government should have approved all available and proven vaccines, but due to his visions of grandeur and self reliance he wanted only vaccines manufactured in India

Allowed export of more than 64 million vaccines, drugs like remdesivir and industrial oxygen thinking that the pandemic was a thing of the past

When the second wave hit his administration blocked all exports and is now looking to import all of the above

Allowed political rallies and religious festivals where millions of idiots gathered without masks or social distancing, all the while giving lip service to fighting the pandemic

Now that things are out of control the BJP ruled states are under reporting the death toll and the active cases to pin the blame of the spiraling numbers on opposition ruled states

If most Indians are as dumb as I think they are, all of the above will be forgotten three years later and the idiot will return to power again.

Look at the bright side, some population control was urgently required in this third world hellhole.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

India records world's biggest single-day rise in coronavirus cases

All that means is that they are testing more. It says nothing about either virus itself or the rate of infections in India with it 1.2 billion population.

In the event, there are much worse diseases in India to worry about than this virus with an infection mortality rate of de facto zero for people under 60.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Looking at the BBC World reports, India has lost control of the pandemic and many hundreds of thousands are going to die. Also to allow the Kumbh Mela religious festival in the northern city of Haridwar, has already attracted nearly 5 million largely non-mask wearing Hindu pilgrims to the banks of the holy Ganges River this week.

https://www.dw.com/en/india-hindu-festival-turns-to-superspreader-event-as-covid-infections-soar/a-57218497

Government ministers have stated in public the pandemic was over.

Mass lack of oxygen and hospital beds. The places for cremations are overwhelmed by families wanting to burn their deceased.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

LET' 's take care of our own convid problems first and India take care of theirs please.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

India will need help from other countries. We just need to take care of all covid, not just one country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Don't know how India has been able to test so many, get the results, get the results published, write a press release and in most developed countries we can't even get a test.

Germans are going to Russia to get the vaccine whether or not they've been tested

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If anyone saw what the india population actually did during their national holidays, you would be even a little surprise by these numbers. Countless people half naked in the river playing in the water and even drinking it. Countless people on the street without mask and hugging each other and painting their bodies with paint because of pagwa. They had fun like covid never existed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But by all means lets have a large Indian and Brazil Olympic delegation and share those variants here.

it is not like people in Japan are dying because hospitals refuse them. And we can spare the hundreds of nurses and doctors for the Games.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The US in its peak had 297K. Compare the proportion of the population. If you really want to compare India with any other country compare with entire Europe.

The US peaked at that number, whereas India is still rising, and rising fast.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Megalomaniac Modi who loves taking credit for everything seems a bit quiet now. But for sure, his IT brigade is already blaming opposition ruled states for his incompetence.

The standard hater narrative..unlike last year the states are now responsible for COVID management, there is nothing called opposition ruled states, the narrative needs refinement, some non BJP states/UT have

though definitely messed it up..

Imposed the world's strictest lock down when cases were a few thousand, but forgot about the daily wagers who would starve to death without regular work

Ask your friend Kejriwal..as to how he kicked out daily wagers from Delhi..and nobody starved to death..that's a pathtic narrative.. India food production is at-least three times of what it requires..

Opened up when cases were rising without any future planning for taking care of subsequent waves

Outright fake, opened up when cases fell below 10%..the states were to manages any future waves..this is where some states failed..

Thought that simply vaccinating the entire population will lead to an end to the pandemic. An uneducated buffoon will not understand that viruses mutate, and the existing vaccines might not work against variants

Who thought that.. that's not him.. Its the vaccine researchers.. you are calling them uneducated buffons..

For such a large population his government should have approved all available and proven vaccines, but due to his visions of grandeur and self reliance he wanted only vaccines manufactured in India.

India manufactures 60% of world-wide vaccines..sizable percentage of the COVID vaccines were exported..eg almost 50% of the Canadians got the COVID shots..which were made in India..

Allowed export of more than 64 million vaccines, drugs like remdesivir and industrial oxygen thinking that the pandemic was a thing of the past

At that time the active cases were less than 10%..any country would have exported in that scenario..

When the second wave hit his administration blocked all exports and is now looking to import all of the above

Any country manufacturing vaccines/raw materials will do that..even the US has blocked.. which part you donot understand.

Allowed political rallies and religious festivals where millions of idiots gathered without masks or social distancing, all the while giving lip service to fighting the pandemic

Now that things are out of control the BJP ruled states are under reporting the death toll and the active cases to pin the blame of the spiraling numbers on opposition ruled states

So, he should allow/ dis-allow religious festivals.. classic hater..and things are "reported" out of control mostly in non BJP rules states.. and yes, just like Japan, do minimal testing and everything will be fine.

If most Indians are as dumb as I think they are, all of the above will be forgotten three years later and the idiot will return to power again.

Your thinking is limited to you hatred.. and the best part is that majority of the haters in India and abroad are getting vaccinated by vaccines made in India..

Look at the bright side, some population control was urgently required in this third world hellhole.

The hater population hellhole control was definitely required..now that is definitely the bright side...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All that means is that they are testing more. It says nothing about either virus itself or the rate of infections in India with it 1.2 billion population.

Yep.. now testing is in full swing.. there were 190K recoveries the same day 300K cases were reported.. but the former off-course is never reported.. and as was the case earlier, high majority of the deaths worldwide are due to comorbidity..folks with healthy immune system have no issue with the virus.. un-hygenic urban lifestyle is the primary reason for majority of the deaths.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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