New Delhi: As India is battling the deadly second wave of coronavirus, the country reported a tally of 392,488 new infections and 3,689 deaths overnight.
According to Indian Health Ministry, country’s total case load now stands at 19.56 million with 215,542 killed by the virus.
In times of severe crisis, nearly 10 Indian states and union territories have imposed some form of restrictions to contain the spread of novel virus. However, the federal government remains reluctant to impose a national lockdown.
India is currently in the midst of a lethal wave of the novel coronavirus, driven in part by a new variant discovered in the country, thought to be more contagious by experts. Oxygen has run low in most hospitals while ICU beds and ventilators are unavailable. Many families have been left on their own to scramble for medicines and oxygen.
The country has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days straight.
Crematoriums and graveyards are fast running out of space, with some furnaces reportedly melting due to non-stop usage.
Indian politicians including Prime Minister Modi, have been criticized for letting millions of largely unmasked people attend religious festivals and crowded political rallies through March and April in five states, packed close together in stadiums and grounds, despite the second wave of deadly coronavirus.
Daily cases in those five states have spiked since then.
The federal government fears another lockdown will have a devastating impact on the economy.
Modi, however, seems impervious to criticism, as his party arranges four massive rallies in the coming days even as his country battles what healthcare experts have labelled, “a nightmare”.
To contain further spread of COVID-19 several cities have ordered immediate curfews, while police have been directed to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing in the cities with highest virus ratio.
India’s vaccination drive has managed to inoculate only a tiny fraction of its population. Although the Narendra Modi led government has announced that everyone over the age of 18 will be eligible for vaccination from May 1, experts fear that the country may not have enough shots.