All the vaccination centers in India’s financial capital Mumbai have been shut for three days starting Friday due to a shortage of vaccines reported by the authorities as the country posted another daily rise in the cases of coronavirus.
According to the health ministry data, India reported 386452 new cases on Friday while the count of deaths due to COVID-19 jumped by 3498 over the past 24 hours.
However, the medical experts believe that the actual numbers of COVID-19 in the world’s second-most populated nation may be five to ten times greater than the official figure.
Since the end of February, India has added over 7.7 million cases when its second wave picked up the course. In contrast it took India almost six months to add the previous 7.7 million cases.
The country is in deep crisis with morgues and hospitals overwhelmed with numbers, and medicines and oxygen supply shortened, and strict curbs have been imposed on the movement in its biggest cities.
India is the world’s biggest producer of vaccines but it fails to have enough stockpiles to keep up with the second waved of the deadly COVID-19 virus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planned to vaccinate all adults starting May 1 but the present-day scenario speaks differently. Only about 9% of India’s 1.4 billion people have so far received a vaccine dose since January.
Several states have announced that they shall be unable to immunize people age 18-45 immediately.
As the wave of infections cripples the nation’s health system brutally, on Friday, Modi is scheduled to meet the cabinet of ministers. The situation also threatens to impact the major businesses as absenteeism grows with the workers and staff falling sick or taking leave to attend the sick relatives.
World aid has started arriving in the country as it struggles to combat what is presently referred to as a humanitarian disaster.
Reportedly on Friday, the first U.S. flight carrying oxygen cylinders, rapid diagnostic kits, regulators, N95 masks, and pulse oximeters have arrived in the Indian capital Delhi.
The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken posted on Twitter that just as India came to their aid during the early pandemic, the U.S. is now committed to working urgently to provide assistance to India in its prime time of need.
The United States shall send over $100 million in medical aid, including 1000 oxygen cylinders, 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, and 15 million N95 masks. It also further redirected its own order of AstraZeneca supplies to India, allowing it to make more than 20 million doses.
Shipments from other countries have also started to pour in, with the third one from the United Kingdom that reached earlier in the day. Ireland and Romania have also sent supplies on late Thursday.
India’s severe crisis in medical oxygen supply is expected to ease down a bit by mid-May, as said by a top industry executive, with the outputs rising by 25% and the transport infrastructure ready to cope with the surge.
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