India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system

The country also reported 362,757 new infections, a replacement global record, which raised the general total past 17.9 million.

India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system
India tops 200,000 dead as virus surge breaks health system

India crossed a grim milestone Wednesday of 200,000 people lost to the coronavirus as a devastating surge of latest infections tears through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelms health care systems on the brink of collapse.The health ministry reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths within the last 24 hours, bringing India’s total fatalities to 201,187, because the world’s second most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet.

The country also reported 362,757 new infections, a replacement global record, which raised the general total past 17.9 million. The previous high of 350,000 on Monday had capped a five-day streak of recording the most important single-day increases in any country throughout the pandemic.India, a rustic of nearly 1.4 billion people, is that the fourth to cross 200,000 deaths, behind the us , Brazil and Mexico. And as in many nations, experts believe the coronavirus infections and fatalities in India are severe undercounts.

The first known COVID-19 death in India happened on March 12, 2020, in southern Karnataka state. It took five months to succeed in the primary 50,000 dead. The toll hit 100,000 deaths within the next two months in October 2020 and 150,000 three months later in January this year. Deaths slowed until mid-March, only to sharply rise again.India thought it had weathered the worst of the pandemic last year, but the virus is now racing through its population and systems are starting to collapse.

Hospitalizations and deaths have reached record highs, overwhelming health care workers. Patients are suffocating because hospitals’ oxygen supplies have run out. Desperate relations are sending SOS messages on social media, hoping someone would help them find oxygen cylinders, empty hospital beds and important drugs for his or her loved ones. Crematoriums have spilled over into parking lots, lighting up night skies in some cities.

With its health care system sinking fast, India is now watching other nations to tug it out of the record surge that's barreling through one state then another.Many countries have offered assistance, including the U.S., which has promised to assist with personal protective equipment, tests and oxygen supplies. The U.S. also will send raw materials for vaccine production, strengthening India’s capacity to manufacture more AstraZeneca doses.

Health experts say huge gatherings during Hindu festivals and mammoth election rallies in some states have accelerated the unprecedented surge India is seeing now.They also say the government’s mixed messaging and its premature declarations of victory over the virus encouraged people to relax once they should have continued strict adherence to physical distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large crowds.The capital New Delhi is in lockdown, as are the southern states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. another states, too, have enforced restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

India has also called on its soldiers to assist fight the devastating crisis. India’s chief of Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat, said late Monday that oxygen supplies would be released from soldiers reserves and its retired medical personnel would join health facilities to ease the pressure on doctors.

Meanwhile, India’s vaccination program appears to be struggling. thus far nearly 10% of the country’s population have received one jab, but just over 1.5% have received both vaccines.Indians 18 and older are going to be eligible for a vaccine from Saturday.

Meanwhile, the loss of lives is accelerating.

Radha Gobindo Pramanik is among the countless Indians who lost a loved one to the virus. His daughter, Navanita Paramanik Rajput, died on April 18.At first, Rajput complained of colds and fever. But when the 37-year-old’s oxygen levels began to drop, her father and husband decided to require her to a government hospital.Pramanik said she came out of the ambulance smiling but by the time her husband finished filling the hospital registration form, her daughter was gasping for breath.“Before I could understand anything, she collapsed within the arms of her husband,” Pramanik said, sobbing.