India reports record-high 360k new infections, over 3,000 deaths on Wednesday
These aerial photos from Agence France Presse show burning pyres of victims who lost their lives due to COVID-19.
The virus has now killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide, with India driving the latest surge, recording 360,000 new infections — a global record — and over 3,000 deaths on Wednesday.
In the capital of New Delhi, carparks have been converted to crematoriums and the soaring bodycount has sparked a shortage of wood for funeral pyres.
Desperate relatives of the sick are also crowding outside hospitals and pharmacies in search of treatment or medicines, often in vain, with the nation’s health system overwhelmed.
Arriving in cars, rickshaws and ambulances, patients and their family members desperate for oxygen flocked to a tent outside a Sikh place of worship on the outskirts of the capital this week.
Priyanka Mandal, 30, had been searching for oxygen for her mother since she became sick a week ago.
“Medicines are also not available… I’ve visited five, six big medical stores,” she told AFP.
“No matter how much time it takes, I have to wait here… I only have my mum.”
-Despite COVID surge, 25,000 take part in religious bathing festival-
Despite the rising cases, around 25,000 people took part in the final auspicious bathing day at the Kumbh Mela religious festival in the northern town of Haridwar on Tuesday.
The festival on the banks of the Ganges has attracted millions of pilgrims, mostly without masks, sparking criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government for allowing it to go ahead.
A variant of Covid-19 feared to be contributing to the catastrophic wave in India has now been found in over a dozen countries, World Health Organization said Tuesday.
Many nations have rushed to help India, sending desperately needed oxygen and other supplies.
As part of the global aid effort, Singapore said Wednesday it had sent two plane-loads of oxygen supplies.
India also appears to be a leading contender for some of the millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses the United States has said it will export.
(Agence France Presse)