Hospitals across northern India, including in the capital, Delhi, have issued notices to say they have only a few hours of medical oxygen required to keep Covid-19 patients alive.
More than two-thirds of hospitals had no vacant beds, according to the Delhi government’s online data base and doctors advised patients to stay at home.
“Covid-19 has become a public health crisis in India leading to a collapse of the healthcare system,” Krutika Kuppalli, assistant professor at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Medical University of South Carolina in the United States, said on Twitter.
The previous record one-day rise in cases was held by the United States, which had 297,430 new cases on one day in January, though its tally has since fallen sharply.
India’s total cases are now at 15.93 million, while deaths rose by 2,104 to reach a total of 184,657, according to the latest health ministry data.
India’s media has reacted with understandable despair at the devastating new wave of the virus sweeping the country.
The Hindustan Times, a large English-speaking daily, said “World’s worst outbreak” on its front as the country racked up a new global record for new daily cases of almost 315,000 on Wednesday.
For the Times of India it was important that the central government led by Narendra Modi stepped up and ensured cooperation between all levels of government, and made sure it got “all hands on deck” in the national emergency.
You can read more about the reaction in this piece by my colleague Martin Farrer.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with me, Alison Rourke.
India has set a world record of new cases, with 314,835 being recorded on Wednesday. It surpasses the previous record of just under 300,000 set by the US in January. It comes as fears mount over oxygen supplies and hospital beds in some areas of India, as the surge of cases puts enormous pressure on the health system.
In other developments:
- President Biden hailed the US milestone of 200m vaccines delivered before the end of April, meeting the ambitious goal he set for his first 100 days in office.
- Thailand has reported seven new deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, its highest number of fatalities in a single day since the pandemic started, authorities said, as the country deals with its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet.
- US drugmaker Pfizer on Wednesday confirmed that suspect doses of its coronavirus vaccine that were seized in Mexico and Poland were fake, with doses going for as much as $1,000 a shot, according to US media.
- French-Austrian vaccine developer Valneva on Wednesday announced that it had launched a Phase 3 trial of its candidate vaccine against Covid-19 – the last testing stage before seeking regulatory approval.
- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 29,518 to 3,217,710, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Thursday. The reported death toll rose by 259 to 80,893, the tally showed.