New Delhi: A senior scientific adviser to the Indian government today warned that the country will inevitably face a further wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as nearly 4,000 people will die in one day.
The World Health Organization said in a weekly report that as hospitals scramble for beds and oxygen due to the second fatal surge in infections, the world’s reported coronavirus cases last week accounted for nearly half of India’s cases and a quarter of deaths. One.
Many people died in ambulances and parking lots waiting for beds or oxygen, while morgues and crematoriums struggled with the seemingly unstoppable flow of bodies.
The government’s chief scientific adviser, K. Vijay Raghavan, warned that even if the infection rate drops, the country should prepare for the third wave.
“Phase 3 is inevitable, given the high levels of circulating virus,” he told a news briefing. “But it is not clear on what timescale this phase 3 will occur… We should prepare for new waves.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been widely criticised for not acting sooner to suppress the second wave, after religious festivals and political rallies drew tens of thousands of people in recent weeks and became “super spreader” events.
“We are running out of air. We are dying,” the Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy wrote in an opinion piece that called for Modi to step down.
“This is a crisis of your making,” she added in the article published yesterday. “You cannot solve it. You can only make it worse….So please go.”
The United Kingdom said on Wednesday that two of the Indian delegation attending the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in London were self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of London, said in a Twitter message that he will attend the virtual meeting.