India on Sunday reported a record daily rise of 349,691 new coronavirus infections, taking its overall tally to 1,69,60,172.
A total of 2,767 people were reported dead on Sunday, according to health ministry data, taking total coronavirus fatalities to 192,311.
SOS messages are being sent out by top hospitals, patients and their family and friends amid shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds.
Areas with Covid positivity rates over 10 per cent must be locked down, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria told NDTV on Saturday, as the government scrambles to contain a deadly second wave that has triggered an oxygen crisis in Delhi and left India’s medical infrastructure near collapse.
Dr Guleria said the country’s healthcare system was paying the price for the government’s failure to anticipate the spread of infections via more aggressive variants of the virus and flagged the urgent need to break the chain of transmission and reduce the skyrocketing active caseload.
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech said that the Covaxin vaccine will cost Rs 600 for state governments and Rs 1,200 for private hospitals. For exports, the COVID-19 vaccine will cost in the range of $15 to $20. The other vaccine maker in the country, Serum Institute of India, will sell its Covishield at Rs400 a shot to states and Rs 600 to private hospitals.
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The ongoing lockdown in Delhi has been extended by another week, with the national capital still showing a high positivity rate despite a marginal drop in the daily figures.
Making the announcement, Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal said, “Corona still continues to wreak havoc. Public opinion is also that lockdown should increase. So the lockdown is being extended for one week”.
Despite the ongoing weekend curfew in Karnataka in the view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, a large number of people were seen out in the market at food and grocery shops on Sunday morning.
The norms of the weekend curfew in the state permitted food and grocery shops to operate from 6 am to 10 am only, until the curfew ends on April 26 at 6 am.
The market was bustling with people who stepped out for procuring essential commodities.
Many states have resort to weekend curfews in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Kerala had imposed a weekend curfew for Saturday and Sunday in which only essential services and emergency travel is allowed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the Centre is “fighting with all its might to support states in fight against coronavirus”. Speaking in his monthly radio address “Mann ki Baat”, PM Modi said he has held meetings with experts from many fields like pharma industry, oxygen production.
“I’m speaking to you at a time when COVID-19 is testing our patience and capacity to bear pain. Many of our loved ones left us untimely. After successfully tackling first wave, the nation’s morale was high, it was confident. But this storm (second wave) has shaken the nation,” he said.
Telangana witnessed the highest number of COVID-19 cases as well as deaths in a single
day spike with 8,126 fresh infections and 38 more fatalities, the state government said on Sunday.
The cases tally stands at over 3.95 lakh while the death count rose to 1,999.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 1259, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (676) and Rangareddy (591), it said in a bulletin.
To contain the unprecedented spike in the Covid cases, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday imposed night curfew all over the state.
West Godavari district SP K Narayan Naik personally supervised the situation last night. He visited prominent areas in Eluru, headquarters of the district. He gave instructions and suggestions to the police personnel on monitoring the night curfew.
Andhra Pradesh has reported 11,766 new Covid cases, the highest ever single-day case total since the onset of the pandemic. The new infections took the cumulative caseload past the one million mark to 10,09,228.
India reports 3,49,691 new #COVID19 cases, 2,767 deaths and 2,17,113 discharges in the last 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry
Total cases: 1,69,60,172
Total recoveries: 1,40,85,110
Death toll: 1,92,311
Active cases: 26,82,751
Total vaccination: 14,09,16,417 pic.twitter.com/HuTqfJSx2b
– ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2021
The U.S. is deeply concerned by the severe COVID outbreak in India. We are working around the clock to deploy more supplies and support to our friends and partners in India as they bravely battle this pandemic. More very soon.
– Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) April 25, 2021
Thane has reported 5,192 new cases of coronavirus, raising the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 4,46,376, an official said on Sunday.
Besides these new cases reported on Saturday, the virus also claimed the lives of 46 more people, pushing the death count in the district to 7,232, he said.
The COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane is 1.62 per cent, he added.
The details of recovered and under-treatment patients were not provided by the district administration.
In neighbouring Palghar district, the COVID-19 case count stood at 76,678 and the death count at 1,447, another official said.
After an all-night scramble for an oxygen refill, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi received five metric tonnes of the gas in the early hours of Sunday, according to officials.
The hospital had raised an alarm at 10:30 PM on Saturday, saying its oxygen stock would last only an hour. There were 130 patients in the ICU, including 30 on invasive ventilation, when the SOS was sent.
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi on Saturday called on US President Joe Biden’s administration to release doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries, including India, currently experiencing massive and deadly surges in the spread of COVID-19. “We are currently sitting on close to 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US stockpile, a stockpile which we’re not using and which we’ve already opened to combat COVID 19 in Mexico and Canada,” Mr Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.
“In order to curb the spread of this virus internationally and to protect public health and our international economy, we need to get these vaccines out the door now. I respectfully but strongly call on the Biden Administration to release millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to countries hardest-hit by the spread of COVID-19, including India, Argentina, and potentially others,” he added.
At least 23 people died when a fire broke out Sunday in a coronavirus intensive care unit in the capital of Iraq, a country with long-dilapidated health infrastructure now facing mounting Covid-19 cases. The explosion was caused by “a fault in the storage of oxygen cylinders”, medical sources told AFP.
Iraq’s hospitals have been worn down by decades of conflict and poor investment, with shortages in medicines and hospital beds.