India’s COVID-19 deaths hit record high amid calls for nationwide lockdown

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New Delhi — There are new requires India’s prime minister to implement a nationwide shutdown, as COVID-19 spreads at a breakneck velocity. The nation on Saturday reported greater than 4,000 deaths as a result of virus, marking a brand new single-day excessive.

The coronavirus is claiming lives sooner than India can bury or cremate them — after it felt just like the nation had dodged a freight prepare, CBS Information’ Chris Livesay reviews. Final yr, when the U.S. and far of the world have been reeling within the pandemic, India was comparatively unscathed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the credit score, saying “we saved mankind from an enormous catastrophe by saving our residents from the pandemic”

Defying warnings from the federal government’s personal scientists, the nation opened up. Social distancing vanished at political rallies and spiritual gatherings, together with one on the Ganges, considered the most important super-spreader occasion in historical past.

Since February, infections have spiked: 200,000, 300,000, and now greater than 400,000 circumstances in a single day — for the third day in a row, forcing makeshift crematories.

INDIA-HEALTH-VIRUS
Members of the family and relations carrying protecting gear carry the physique of their cherished one who died as a result of Covid-19 coronavirus at a crematorium on the outskirts of Siliguri on Might 8, 2021, as India recorded greater than 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a day for the primary time.

DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP by way of Getty Photos


Princeton epidemiologist Ramanan Laxminarayan mentioned the second COVID wave isn’t a surprise.

“It got here again with an absolute ferocity that is overtaking the healthcare system in every single place,” he mentioned. “Each dying is only a tragedy as a result of these have been all avoidable deaths for probably the most half.”

Now the nation is scrambling to offer vaccines and remedy, which is in brief provide. Oxygen shortages have pressured Indians to line up for hours, even days.

A number of states have introduced stricter lockdowns, as the federal government faces mounting strain to limit actions nationwide.

Prime Minister Modi has been accused of doing too little and has left the accountability for combating the virus to state governments. His authorities has mentioned it’s doing all it will probably in a “once-in-a-century disaster.”

Many, nonetheless, together with medical consultants and opposition leaders, are urging nationwide restrictions, saying a patchwork of state guidelines is not sufficient to curb the surge in circumstances.  

Contributing: The Related Press 

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