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India’s daily COVID-19 cases pass 400,000 as second wave worsens

New Delhi: India recorded more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time on Saturday as it battles a devastating second wave, and the country’s massive new vaccination drive was hampered in some areas by shortages of the shots.

Authorities reported 401,993 new cases in the previous 24 hours, after 10 consecutive days of more than 300,000 daily cases. Deaths jumped by 3,523, taking the country’s total toll to 211,853, according to the federal health ministry.

Relatives console each other at a cremation in Jammu, India.Credit:AP

Shortages of medical oxygen have plagued the medical system.

In New Delhi’s Batra Hospital, local media reported that eight people including a doctor died on Saturday after the facility ran out of oxygen.

At a hearing on Saturday, the Delhi high court took note of the deaths at Batra Hospital and told the federal government to make arrangements for the allocated supply of oxygen to be given to Delhi.

“Enough is enough,” Justice Vipin Sanghi said.

The federal government’s counsel told the court: “We are doing maximum to what human limit can go.”

Desperate coronavirus patients continued to arrive at hospitals despite a shortage of beds.

Gasping for air, 62-year-old Vijay Gupta was turned away by Holy Family hospital, a non-profit private facility in the southeast of the capital, as all of its 385 beds were full.

His family and friends debated what to do try next.

“We have been roaming around since 6am looking for a bed,” said Gupta’s friend Rajkumar Khandelwal. “Where shall we go?”


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