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India: COVID-19 deaths surpassed 1/4 million, showing no signs of peaking

As of the afternoon of May 12, India said the number of people killed by COVID-19 in the past 24 hours had reached a record, with the total number of deaths exceeding the 1/4 million mark. According to the South Asian nation’s leading virologist, it is too early to tell if the epidemic has peaked.

Cremation of the dead by COVID-19 in New Delhi, India. (Photo: Exposure Visuals / Shutterstock)

According to data from the Indian Ministry of Health, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the country increased by 4,205, while the number of new cases increased daily to 348,421, the number of deaths was 254,197, and the total number of infections. The disease has surpassed 23 million. However, experts believe that official statistics do not accurately reflect the state of the disease, and the actual number of deaths and illnesses could be between 5 and 10 times higher.

Leading Indian virologist Shahid Jameel said India’s “disease curve” may soon be “flattened”, but the decline in new infections is likely to slow.

“It is too early to say if we have reached the top of the translation,” he said. “There are some signs that the number of cases is on the rise. We seem to have about 400,000 new infections every day. ”

The country, with a population of about 1.4 billion, currently accounts for about a third of all COVID-19 deaths reported worldwide (Reuters statistics). This has caused hospitals and incinerators to fall into a state of overload. In addition, the medicine and medical oxygen are also running out.

The terrible second wave of COVID-19 infections has spread from cities to small towns and rural areas, devastating a fragile health system that is not fully equipped to cope with a this kind of large-scale crisis.

The rural areas in India are also short of wood for cremations according to traditional Hindu customs, and there are many bodies that are drifting on the Ganges River.

Akhand Pratap, a resident of Ghazipur district in Uttar Pradesh state, said “people are sinking bodies into the sacred Ganges instead of cremated due to lack of wood”.

Even in the capital New Delhi, many people infected with COVID-19 were abandoned by relatives after cremation, allowing volunteers to pray and scatter ashes into rivers, a ritual often performed by deceased families.

In a report published on May 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that variant B.1,617 first identified in India had been detected in at least 44 countries so far. . WHO has classified this variant as a “global concern” that needs to be further monitored and analyzed.

Vaccine stocks are also running out, especially in the state of Maharashtra around Mumbai’s financial center, and in the capital Delhi, India’s two most severely affected regions.

The 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country left Prime Minister Modi under pressure and criticism, and even called to resign when he did not issue a nationwide blockade.

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