Health experts say India missed early alarm, let deadly coronavirus variant spread

India’s COVID tally passes 25m; cyclone hampers response in western states


Ahmedabad: The strong hurricane in India has complicated the health crisis in Gujarat and western Maharashtra. The total number of COVID-19 cases in India surged to 25 million on Tuesday, which is already the second wave of pandemic The most serious blow.

Before the hurricane hit on Monday, 200,000 people evacuated from the coastal area of ​​Gujarat were tested for COVID-19 and worked hard to limit the spread of infection.

“Masks have been arranged for people shifted to shelter homes,” said Sandip Sagale, a top official in Ahmedabad, the main city in Gujarat.

“Efforts are also made to maintain social distancing.”

India s total tally of coronavirus cases now stands at 25.23 million, health ministry data showed, following 263,533 new infections over the past 24 hours, while fatalities rose by a record 4,329. The official total death toll is now 278,719.

The Indian government says that about 98% of India’s 1.3 billion people are still vulnerable to infection.

Only the United States has more cases, or worse, the number of deaths in a single day, it lost 5444 people on February 12. However, although the epidemic peaked in the United States a few months ago, it is impossible to determine the status of infection in India.

Although official statistics show that the new infections are receding, there are concerns that this highly infectious new variant of B.1.617, first discovered in India, has gone out of control, and many cases have not been reported due to lack of testing.

Since May 2, the number of infections in Gujarat, the country where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) is located, has increased by 30%, while the total number of vaccinations received last week was only 1.1 million, which is a month Half of the previous total.

The storm has killed at least 19 people and caused widespread damage, intensifying efforts to respond to the Gujarat pandemic, vaccinations have been suspended, and hospitals are waiting for backup generators to maintain electricity and more oxygen supplies.

A government official said that the vaccination may last until at least Wednesday.

But Aayush Oak, a senior official in Amreli, the area hardest hit by the hurricane, said preparations have paid off.

“We had already shifted COVID patients from areas closer to the coast to hospitals in other places three days back and did not need to shift a single patient more. There is no disruption of oxygen supply to any hospital,” Oak said.

Sunaina Tomar, energy secretary in Gujarat state, said 81 hospitals designated for coronavirus patients had faced power supply disruption, along with 16 other hospitals, and 19 oxygen refilling plants.

“Power supply has been restored to 29 COVID hospitals, 12 other hospitals, and six oxygen units, and work to restore supply is going on at a war footing at other places,” she said in a statement.

Gujarat s health secretary Jayanti Ravi said there were adequate stocks of oxygen, and teams were working to ensure that roads remained clear for emergency medical requirements despite the damage caused by the cyclone.

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