NEW DELHI (AP) – India on Monday reported 368,147 new coronavirus cases, including 3417 deaths, as a catastrophic wave swept through the country.
The latest figures came after leaders of 13 opposition parties wrote a letter urging the government to provide a free vaccine to ensure a smooth flow of oxygen to all hospitals. Over the weekend, several hospital authorities appealed to the court to intervene in the supply of oxygen in New Delhi, where the blockade was extended for a week to curb the flow of infections.
“Water has crossed over.” That’s enough, “the New Delhi High Court said, adding that it would start punishing government officials if hospitals were not provided with oxygen.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been widely criticized for shutting down the wave, which has brought India’s already fragile, underfunded funding system to the brink. Mass rallies organized by the Bharatya Ata Party and other parties, such as the giant Indian festival on the banks of the Ganges, may have exacerbated the spread.
Modi’s party suffered an electoral defeat in a key state in West Bengal on Sunday, failing to oust its fire chief, Mamata Banerjee. The BJP retained power in the northeastern province of Assam but lost in two southern states.
Although the four states without the epidemic were already tough election challenges for the BJP, analysts say the results weaken Modi’s position as growing infections disrupt the already fragile health care system.
India has confirmed 19.9 million cases since the beginning of the epidemic, behind the United States alone, which has more than 32.4 million. According to the Ministry of Health, more than 218,000 people have died from COVID-19 in India. Both figures are assumed to be huge calculations.
India on Saturday launched its vaccination campaign for people aged 18-44. Mammoth’s mission was disrupted due to limited resources. India is the world’s largest producer of vaccines, but even ongoing efforts to vaccinate people over the age of 45 are stalled. Since January, 10% of Indians have received one dose, but only about 1.5% have received the two required doses.