India’s top scientific adviser on Wednesday warned that additional coronavirus spikes were “inevitable” as hospitals pleaded for supplies amid record highs and nearly 4,000 new deaths a day.
Experts warn that the real numbers are probably up to 10 times higher. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that the country reported one in four deaths worldwide last week and nearly half of new COVID-19 infections were reported worldwide.
“Phase 3 is inevitable given the high levels of the circulating virus,” K. Vijay Ragavan, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told a briefing Wednesday. “But it is not clear at what time scale this phase 3 will take place. Hopefully, gradually, but we need to prepare for new waves.”
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Ragavan said options are just one factor contributing to the current deadly second wave.
He suggested that the unexpected insatiability of the second wave was due to a large part of the population vulnerable to infection, precautionary measures and potential reinfection, although less common. Amid the rapid jump, the country has allowed mass religious gatherings and political rallies, while abandoning public health measures designed to stop the spread.
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A head of a hospital in New Delhi told NPR that it is sometimes difficult to walk in an overcrowded emergency room.
“Sometimes it’s almost impossible to walk in [emergency room]”, Said Dr. Sumit Ray, head of critical care at Holy Family Hospital.” Sometimes we have to keep the patient in the clinic for hours, for a day or two, because we do not have a bed in the wards or in the [intensive care unit]. “
Overall, demand for hospital oxygen has increased sevenfold since last month, a government official said as India struggles to build large oxygen plants and transport oxygen. On Tuesday, India set up a sea bridge to ferry oxygen tankers from Bahrain and Kuwait to the Persian Gulf, officials said.
Alexander Hein of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to the report.