Hundreds of thousands of fresh COVID-19 cases in India are overwhelming hospitals, as state and local authorities re-impose restrictions to check the country’s most serious outbreak yet of coronavirus infections.
The number of deaths is increasing day-on-day. More than 189,000 people across the country have now died due to COVID-19.
But there is little sign that national, state and local authorities are succeeding in slowing a devastating second coronavirus wave that people say is being underestimated. Test kits are in short supply and bureaucratic hurdles are frustrating people’s efforts to get prompt medical attention. Hospitals across India are now running out of beds, oxygen, and medicines.
Mixed government messaging on how to tackle the rising tide of cases and deaths is exacerbating the crisis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has faced widespread criticism on social media by citizens and opposition politicians, on April 20 said the latest wave of infections “has come like a storm”, but maintains that lockdown measures should only be used by states as “the last resort”.
As India faces the challenges of flattening the curve while trying to monitor new variants and revive a vaccination drive that has lagged in recent weeks, we’ll ask how the country can get control over the resurgence of COVID-19.
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