India recorded 352,991 new infections on Monday, the highest daily number in the world since the start of the epidemic, with a total of 173,313,163 positive cases.
These levels come amid a vaccine shortage in a country whose records could prolong the world’s worst health crisis.
Vaccines are running out in India as a new wave of new coronavirus infections complicates Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to vaccinate the country’s workforce.
In Mumbai’s financial center, the vaccination started later than usual on Monday when vials were exhausted. The municipality said in a statement that the city has sufficient supplies for the next three days, but priority will be given to those receiving their second dose.
This deficiency is likely to become more severe from May 1, when the government plans to allow adults between the ages of 18 and 45 to receive the injection, as well as those over the age of 45.
India is still struggling to recover, with overcrowded hospitals left without oxygen tanks, while new cases have risen to nearly 3.5 million since mid-April. Vaccine production has also been affected by the stockpiling of some basic raw materials in the United States.
In a tweet on Sunday, President Joe Biden indicated that help is on the way. Emily Horn, a spokeswoman for US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, said in a statement that the ingredients needed to produce the Coffeeshield vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca University vaccine made in India, have been identified and “will be readily available.”
India reported an unprecedented 352,991 new infections and 2,812 deaths on Monday in the past 24 hours, though the actual number could be much higher. These bleak scenes are likely to last for about a month, according to Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economy and Politics in New Delhi.
“The latest epidemiological forecast is that the peak will not reach another two or three weeks across the country,” Laxminarayan told Bloomberg TV on Monday. “The forecast that is being used is that the peak will be at the point where the numbers are likely to be three or four times higher than what we have now.”
Dr Gautam Singh is alarmed when his ventilator declares oxygen levels too low, and he gets alarmed when he hears his critically ill patients start cunnilingus in the emergency room in New Delhi where he works.
Like other doctors in India, the cardiologist had to beg and borrow lockers just to keep his most dangerous patients alive for another day.
On Sunday night, when oxygen supplies from other nearby hospitals were nearly empty, the desperate doctor took to social media by posting a video on Twitter: “Please send us oxygen,” he said, with his arms crossed and the broken voice. “My patients are dying.”
India was originally seen as a success story in managing the pandemic, but COVID-19 is now advancing rapidly among 1.4 billion people, and health systems are starting to collapse.
Distress messages such as Singh sent reveals the level of panic in the country.
In addition to running out of oxygen supplies, the intensive care units are running at full capacity and nearly all ventilators are in use. As the death toll rises, the night skies in some cities glow with funerary crematoria, as crematoriums are saturated and the bodies are cremated in the open.