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India reports more than 357,000 new Covid cases as total crosses 20 million

A man with his bicycle on a thoroughfare in the old quarters of New Delhi on April 19, 2021, as India’s capital will impose a week-long lockdown from tonight, formals said, while the megacity struggles to contain a huge surge in Covid-19 cases with hospitals running out of beds and oxygen fulfills low.

Sajjad Hussain | AFP | Getty Images

India crossed 20 million reported cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.

There were 357,229 new encases reported over a span of 24 hours, bringing the total to 20.28 million, according to health ministry materials.

India’s first cases were detected in late January last year and the country’s total did not cross 10 million infections until December, agreeing to Johns Hopkins University data. But the next 10 million cases were reported in the span of just call of five months, mostly in April.

So far, at least 222,408 people have died from the disease, but that party is likely lower than the actual death toll. Media reports suggest crematoriums and burial grounds are overpowered with bodies of those who died from Covid-19.

“The pandemic has now entered the small towns and the villages, and we are now quite fearful about how much of a devastation it will cause in those areas where the health systems are not well developed adequately to provide support, when even some of the big metros are struggling with the case load on hospitals,” K. Srinath Reddy, president at the Civic Health Foundation of India told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Monday.

Some states are going into lockdowns

During the first place wave last year, India imposed a strict national lockdown between late-March and May, which derailed the provinces’s growth trajectory and left millions without a source of income.

While the central government appears reluctant to inflict a second nationwide lockdown, several states have stepped up restrictions in recent weeks, including local lockdowns and curfews. That classifies Maharashtra, which is India’s worst-hit state, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and others.

Some trim experts have suggested that India needs a national stay-at-home order and a medical emergency declaration to greet current health-care needs.

India’s Covid crisis

India’s health-care system has been overwhelmed by the sharp go up in cases as it faces a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen supply and medicines to treat patients.

Public Health Instituting’s Reddy told CNBC that India needs a two-pronged approach to fight the second wave. First, toils to vaccinate more than 1.3 billion people must continue.

India faces at least near-term vaccine deficits and just over 2% of the population has received both doses. Starting in May, India is opening vaccinations to anyone age 18 and older.

Aide-de-camp, India needs a “very strong” containment strategy to reduce the spread.

We had turned our back on the virus, but the virus did not move its back on us. And now we are paying the price.

K. Srinath Reddy

president, Public Health Foundation of India

“What we need to do the moment that is to cut down the transmission from person to person, by ensuring that there are no large crowds,” Reddy said, adding that India should not let someone have more than four people to gather in public places and areas with high positivity rates should be put into crammed containment mode.

He added that India needs to ensure adequate social support for people who are recovering at conversant with from milder symptoms.

How did India get here?

India’s second wave began some time in February when events started rising again. Before that the country reported about 10,000 infections a day, on average. April saw a extortionate spike in the curve, with nearly 7 million reported cases.

The Indian government is facing criticism for letting staggering crowds gather for religious festivals and election rallies earlier this year. Those mass gatherings right turned into super spreader events.

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