India: Double mutant Covid-19 variant depletes oxygen supply

FILE PHOTO: India's Covid-19 infections surge out of control.

India has been overrun with the new “double mutant” Covid-19 virus variant, overwhelming hospitals and depleting oxygen supplies. Over 330,000 new Covid-19 infections were announced today with 2,000 deaths per day. Hospitals around the country are desperate for oxygen supplies for patients on ventilators, as Max Smart Hospital and Max Hospital Saket even took to Twitter to plead for supplies. They tweeted that 700 new patients arrived and they had less than 1 hour of oxygen supply remaining.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi planned a minimum of 3 meetings to address the crisis, and develop a solution for the lack of critical medical supplies, medications, and oxygen across India. The government failed to restrict huge public gatherings around the country including massive traditional weddings, political rallies, cricket matches, and the Kumbh Mela festival, a gathering in the city of Haridwar that drew about 25 million mostly maskless Hindu pilgrims to one of the world’s largest religious events.

Now India faces much stronger restrictions to try to contain the rapidly spreading Covid-19 outbreak. New Delhi remains in lockdown, with the northern state of Uttar Pradesh shutting down tomorrow, restricting the 240 million residents there. Maharashtra has barred all non-essential services. While hospital struggle to provide care for the influx of new Covid-19 infected patients, a fire broke out in a Mumbai hospital killing 13 patients.

Other countries have begun closing their border to Indian travellers as well. Canada has cancelled all flights from India and Pakistan, while the United Arab Emirates imposed travel restrictions for travellers from India as of yesterday. While in January India maintained hope that they had dodged the bullet of a major pandemic, the current double mutant spread shows no signs of waning any time soon.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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