India's coronavirus infections top five million mark

India\'s coronavirus infections top five million mark  

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in India has surpassed five million, officials say, the second-highest in the world after the US.

The virus appears to be spreading much faster in India than any other country, with daily cases crossing 90,000 for the five days up until Tuesday.

More than 80,000 people have died, amid reports of shortages of intensive care beds and oxygen supplies.

But the death rate is lower than in many countries with a high caseload.

The rise in infections comes as the government continues to lift restrictions throughout the country to try to boost an economy that lost millions of jobs when the virus hit in March.

Gyms are the latest to reopen, while schools, colleges and cinema halls remain shut. But most workplaces and markets are back to normal, and many cities are permitting restaurants and bars to resume serving alcohol, which is likely to increase crowds.

How did India get here?

In the initial stages of Covid-19, India appeared to be doing fairly well, imposing a strict lockdown, but the virus then hit megacities like Mumbai and the capital, Delhi, before surging in smaller cities and rural areas.

Despite the increase, the government has eased restrictions to recover from the effects of an early lockdown - between March and June - that hit the economy hard.

As India opens up and people return to work, Covid-19 cases have been surging. Some 600,000 cases were added just last week.

India's caseload now stands at 5,020,359 after it added 90,123 cases in the last 24 hours.

Although the virus has spread to every corner of the country, including the remote tribe in India's Andaman islands, the bulk of the caseload is coming from five states.

Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh also account for more than 60% of the active cases.

But the rise in case numbers is partly also a reflection of increased testing - India has been conducting more than a million tests a day.

What about reported oxygen shortages?

With the rise in number of cases, demand for oxygen has risen exponentially recently.

Hospitals and care centres have been consuming up to 2,700 tonnes of oxygen every day this month, compared with 750 tonnes in April, according to data obtained from All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association.

Oxygen manufacturers say the demand for industrial oxygen has also shot up because more factories are now reopening.

The states seeing a worrying uptick in infections - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh - are suffering the most. It is a lives-versus-livelihoods question that India is grappling with now, BBC India correspondent Soutik Biswas reports.

India will now need to increase capacity to make sure that both industries and patients do not suffer, our correspondent adds.

Most oxygen plants are built near cities and big towns. So supplies to far-flung districts where Covid-19 patients are filling hospitals have to be sent by special lorries carrying cryogenic tanks - India has some 1,500 such vehicles.

Many areas - the capital, Delhi, for example - do not have a single oxygen manufacturer, and all supplies have to come from neighbouring regions.

Read more about how the pandemic has affected India

  • Coronavirus rumours hamper testing in Punjab

  • India faces oxygen scarcity as Covid-19 cases surge

  • Recovering from Covid-19: 'I can't get the images out of my head'

  • How many Covid-19 deaths is India missing?

  • Why won't India admit how Covid-19 is spreading?


More Related News

Google pulls India's Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations
Google pulls India's Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations

Google has pulled Indian financial services app Paytm from the Play Store for repeatedly violating its policies. Paytm is India's most valued startup and claims over 50 million monthly active users. Its marquee app, which allows users to exchange money with one another, disappeared from the Play Store in India earlier Friday.

Apple to open its first India online store
Apple to open its first India online store

Apple will launch its first online store in India next week, the Silicon Valley giant said Friday, hoping to cash in on the country's festive season and grow its tiny share of the booming market.

Apple will launch its online store in India on September 23
Apple will launch its online store in India on September 23

Apple will launch its online store in India on September 23, bringing a range of services directly to customers in the world's second largest smartphone market for the first time in over 20 years since it began operations in the country. The company, which currently relies on third-party online and offline retailers to sell its products in India, said its online store will offer AppleCare+, which extends the warranty on its hardware products by up to two years, as well as a trade-in program to let customers access discounts on purchase of new iPhones by returning previous models. Customers will also be able to buy Macs with custom configuration.

India's coronavirus cases rise to 5.2 million, with 96,424 new infections
  • US
  • 2020-09-18 04:32:17Z

India recorded 96,424 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 5.2 million, data from the federal health ministry showed on Friday. India has been posting the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, and seems on course to cross the United States as the country with the most number of cases. Deaths in India have been relatively low, and it has a fatality rate of 1.62%.

Tata to build new India parliament
Tata to build new India parliament

The new building will replace the existing colonial-era structure and will be completed by 2022.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America