India on Monday reported more than 300,000 new coronovirus infections for the 12th straight day, bringing its total number of cases to just 20 million, as scientists predicted a peak of the epidemic in the coming days.
According to the Health Ministry data, there have been 368,147 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, while the total infection in India is 19.93 million, while the total fatalities increased by 3,417 to 218,959.
Medical experts say the nationwide actual number of 1.35 billion could be five to 10 times more than the official tally.
The Ministry of Health offered a glimpse of hope, reporting that positive cases, relative to positive tests, fell for the first time on Monday, at least after April 15.
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India’s coronavirus cases may peak between May 3-5, according to a mathematical model of a team of scientists advising the government, days before the previous estimate because the virus has spread faster than expected.
Hospitals have filled up to capacity, medical oxygen supply is low and the morgue and crematorium have been devastated as the country deals with an increase in cases.
At least 11 states and union territories have imposed some sort of restrictions on the movement to try and spread the infection, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reluctant to announce a national lockdown worrying about the economic impact.
Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, said on Twitter, “In my opinion, just ordering a national residence and declaring a medical emergency will help meet current health needs.”
“# Of active cases are accumulating, not just daily new cases. Even the reported numbers are around 3.5M active cases in the state. “
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The biggest crisis is in India since Modi took office in 2014. Modi has been criticized for not taking pre-emptive measures to curb the spread and for taking part in religious festivals and crowded political rallies in five states in March and April. .
A forum of scientific advisors set up by the government has warned Indian officials to introduce new and more infectious variants in the country in early March, which five scientists are part of the platform told Reuters.
Despite the warning, four scientists said that the federal government did not seek to impose major sanctions to prevent the spread of the virus.
It remains to be seen how his handling of the crisis will affect either Modi or his party. The next general election is due in 2024. In the results announced on Sunday, Modi’s party was defeated in the state of West Bengal, India, although it won in the neighboring state of Assam.
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Leaders of 13 opposition parties signed a letter on Sunday urging Modi to immediately start national immunization and prioritize the supply of oxygen to hospitals and health centers.
Several states have postponed widening a vaccination campaign for adults that was to begin on Saturday due to a shortage of vaccines. Despite being the world’s largest producer of vaccines, India does not have enough for itself. Only nine percent of the population has received the dose.
The shortage of raw materials and the fire at the Serum Institute has led to a struggle to increase capacity in India by more than 80 million months, which makes up the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Pfizer Inc is in talks with the Indian government, seeking an “expeditious approval route” for its COVID-19 vaccine, with its CEO Albert Borla announcing more than $ 70 million in drug donations on LinkedIn on Monday .
India said last month that its drug regulator would decide on emergency use applications for the foreign COVID-19 vaccine, including Pfizer, within three days from application.
International aid is pouring into India in response to the crisis.
Britain will send another 1000 ventilators to India, the government said on Sunday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Modi are scheduled to speak on Tuesday.
The Indian COVID-19 variant has now reached at least 17 countries including Britain, Switzerland and Iran, leading many governments to close their borders for people traveling from India.
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