As the UK has recently been more relaxed with their lockdown restrictions this past week, COVID cases have surged over night in India causing the country to worry.
COVID cases in India have gone sky high since the start of April, with 314,644 new cases on the 21st April, and deaths rising to just over 2,000 a day. Only 1.3% of India’s population has been fully vaccinated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, India have had nearly 16 million confirmed cases, compared to 4.4 million in the UK, making it second in the world with the most cases, with first being the US.
With thousands of new cases everyday, crowds have started forming outside hospitals around India, but all of them have reached their maximum capacity. Some people have died waiting for treatment and oxygen.
According to the city’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, there has been a shortage of oxygen in hospitals in Delhi as they completely ran out on Thursday.
Across Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad nearly all ICU beds are gone, and over 75% of hospital beds are occupied.
The highest court in Delhi assessed the situation with the shortage of oxygen, and criticised the way the central government is dealing with it. The court said,. “This is ridiculous. We want to know what the centre is going with regard to oxygen supply across India”.
India has been added to the ‘red list’ of countries on the 23rd April for the whole of the UK because of the sudden surge in cases, and the fear of a new variant.
Health secretary, Matt Hancock, stated there have already been 103 UK cases of the new variant from India which is officially named as B.1.617.
Hancock said, “after studying the data, and on a precautionary basis, we’ve made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list”.
The test samples have been analysed by specialists, however no one is certain if this new variant is more dangerous.
However, Prof Walport fears that adding India to the UK’s red list may be too late, he expressed his concerns saying, “these decisions are almost inevitably taken a bit too late in truth, but what’s absolutely clear is that this variant is more transmissible in India”.
Written by Kathryn Reeve.