Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his country has been hit by a ‘storm of infections’. Aid convoys with oxygen and medicines from the international community are coming.
The pandemic continues to hit hard in India, where new records have been set in the past 24 hours. For example, the number of cases rose by 349,691 and the number of deaths by 2,767. Hospitals in Delhi and all over the country have to refuse sick people because they have run out of oxygen and all beds are occupied. Narendra Modi expects all citizens to get vaccinated and to be careful.
The prime minister and his government have been criticized before. They have allowed major religious and political gatherings when the number of cases fell below 10,000 a day.
Now there are shocking scenes of people setting up stretchers and oxygen bottles outside the hospitals. Patients become short of breath. “Every day it is the same situation and we have oxygen for two hours,” said a doctor on television.
According to official figures, there are a total of 16.96 million infections and 192,311 deaths. In the past month, the number of daily infections increased eight times and the number of deaths ten times higher. According to experts, the actual figures may be a lot higher. India, a country of 1.3 billion inhabitants, is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken promises to send additional aid soon. However, the US criticized by India for enforcing export controls on vaccine raw materials. The Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest vaccine maker in the world, asked US President Joe Biden to lift the embargo because it impedes the production of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The European Commission is also taking action. She is looking at how to send oxygen and medicines to India. Several EU member states would jointly consider how they can meet the demand for aid from Delhi.
The outbreak in India expects to peak at half a million infections per day in mid-May, the Indian Express reported, based on an internal government estimate.