New Delhi, Apr 25
India's coronavirus cases and deaths hit a new record with 3.49 lakh fresh infections, taking the caseload to 1.69 crore; 2,767 people died in the last 24 hours. Hospitals in the country are overwhelmed; SOS messages have flooded social media.
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This is the fourth straight day that India has recorded over 3 lakh Covid cases and over 2,000 deaths. The country has been recording more than 2 lakh cases everyday since April 15.
Many top hospitals in Delhi, in the last 48 hours, have sent out SOS messages over medical oxygen shortage. 25 people died at Jaipur Golden Hospital due to low oxygen pressure on Friday. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday wrote to all Chief Ministers "requesting them to provide oxygen to Delhi, if they have spare".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held yet another high-level meet amid frantic appeals from across the Nation as patients struggle to get hospital beds and other essential facilities.
The Government has waived off customs duty on the import duty of vaccines and medical oxygen for a period of three months. This, the Centre said, would "boost availability of these items, as well as make them cheaper".
Karnataka and Bengal recorded the highest-single day surge in cases in the last 24 hours. Karnataka recorded nearly 30,000 COVID-19, and State capital Bengaluru also reported its biggest ever single-day Covid surge with over 17,000 new cases.
Bengal logged 14,281 new Covid cases - the most in a day - and nearly double the 7,713 reported just one week ago. Politicians have been criticised for holding rallies in the State amid a Nationwide surge in Covid cases.
While Maharashtra logged over 67,000 fresh cases, Mumbai saw a drop in cases for the first time in six days with 5,888 new infections. This is the lowest daily addition to its caseload since March 31, when 5,394 new cases were detected, and it is the first time since April 12 that the number of new daily cases is below the 7,000-mark.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla has assured of maximum support to "ensure maximum vaccination at the earliest in the State". A strict lockdown was announced in Maharashtra, the worst-hit State, to break the chain of transmission.
Several Nations have expressed support as Covid cases soar in India. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he was looking at what he could do to help India, where the coronavirus pandemic is entering a deadly new phase with which its health services are struggling to cope. Worldwide, the number of Covid cases has surged to 14.5 crore. More than 30 lakh people have died and 1 billion doses of vaccines have been administered so far. NDTV