India's hospitals in 'apocalyptic' battle against COVID-19
DW, 23 Apr 2021
India has reported the world's highest daily count of new Coronavirus cases for a second straight day. More than 330,000 new infections were recorded in the last 24-hours there. In response, Canada is banning all flights from both India and Pakistan, and the UK is also putting new restrictions on travel to and from India.
The unprecedented spike comes after coronavirus case numbers first rose to 100,000 per day by last September, and then dropped off again through the winter. Experts say that new virus variants and recent superspreader gatherings have contributed to the latest surge.
Ambulances lined up outside hospitals that can't take any more patients. Oxygen shortages that have pitted different states against each other. Doctors and nurses pushed to the limit as they scramble for resources .
Lines are hours-long at testing sites. After many months of relatively few cases, this comes as a shock.
Epidemiologists say India missed crucial opportunities to prepare for a second wave. The government didn't hire more doctors and nurses - and it allowed massive public gatherings - which may have been superspreader events.
Last week the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it would allow a greatly expanded list of vaccines to be used. But it faces the mammoth task of vaccinating a population far bigger than the European Union and the United States combined.
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