India on Thursday (May 6) reported more than 412,000 new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 4,000 new deaths in the past 24 hours. India’s cumulative number of confirmed cases has reached 21.08 million, making it only the second country after the United States to break the 20 million mark.
NEW DELHI: The second wave of COVID-19 in India has become more severe as the number of cases and deaths in a single day has soared to a new peak, the Times of India reported on Thursday. India recorded 412,784 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began, compared with the previous record of 402,351 cases recorded on April 30.
In addition, there were 3,980 new deaths in India, bringing the total to 230,168.
India’s official epidemic model sees a peak expected on May 5 due to the faster-than-expected spread of novel coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said India accounted for almost half of the new cases reported globally last week.
In its weekly epidemiology report, the WHO said Wednesday that 46 percent of the new confirmed cases and 25 percent of the new deaths worldwide last week were in India, where the WHO said the outbreak was spreading to neighboring countries.
Reuters reports that these figures are official, and the proportion could be even higher if, as many experts believe, many patients go unrecorded because of India’s overburdened health system. Some medical experts say the real number may be five to ten times higher than the official figure.
Hospital beds and oxygen are running out, and morgues and crematoriums are overflowing as the second deadly wave of the disease hits India. Many died in ambulance and car park beds or with oxygen.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been widely criticized for not acting sooner to contain the second wave of the virus. Religious festivals and political rallies draw tens of thousands of people at hyperspread events.
India has reported more than 300,000 cases in a single day for 15 consecutive days since January 21, an increase of 5 million cases in just half a month. If this trend continues, India may overtake the United States as the world’s largest country in terms of confirmed cases by July.
Indian officials say the country is in the middle of a second wave of the epidemic, and there may be a third wave, looking to countries to help, some experts said the epidemic may take weeks to reach its peak.
India’s health system is under severe strain, with severe runs on resources in places like the capital, New Delhi. At present, the Indian government is allocating resources and actively cracking down on the illegal sale of oxygen and other medical supplies.
Vijay Raghawan, chief scientific adviser to the Indian government, said on May 5 that a third wave of the virus was inevitable in India, given the current high levels of transmission of novel coronavirus. Raghavan said the timing and size of the third wave was not yet clear, but preparations should be made for it.
NEW DELHI: Novel coronavirus strain B.1.617, previously referred to by the media as a “double-mutant virus”, has become the main mutant strain circulating locally in some southern Indian states, according to scientists at the Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology of India (CMCB), Indian media reported. This mutant strain carries E484Q and L452R mutations that may lead to immune escape and increased infectivity. In the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, B.1.617 is now dominant.
The World Health Organization has also warned that the dire situation in India could also reignite the epidemic in neighboring countries. Nepal saw a 137% jump in cases last week to a record 31,088 in a single week, and Sri Lanka is also experiencing an increase in the epidemic.
According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal on May 5 local time, 8,659 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Nepal, and 58 new deaths have been recorded. This is the first time the number of new cases in a single day in Nepal has exceeded 8,000, and it is the fourth consecutive day that the number of new cases in a single day has broken the record.
The head of a public hospital in Kathmandu revealed that they only had enough liquid oxygen until the end of the 5th day. Oxygen shortages, bodies burned everywhere. Some experts say Nepal is becoming a “mini India”.