India’s capital closed amid explosive virus surge

New Delhi (AP) – New Delhi imposed a week-long lockdown on Monday night to prevent the collapse of the Indian capital’s health system, which officials said pushed its limits amid explosive growth in coronovirus cases.

In scenes familiar with Surge, the ambulance arrives from one hospital to another, trying to find an empty bed at weekends while waiting for patients to stand in line outside medical facilities. Ambulances also become useless outside the crematorium, carrying half a dozen. Each dead body. In an effort to tackle the crisis, India announced that it would soon expand its vaccination campaign to all adults.

Head of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in New Delhi for the treatment of patients of COVID-19. Suresh Kumar said, “People almost keep reaching in a state of breakdown.”

It saw the worst impact of the epidemic a few months after India thoughtThe virus is now spreading faster than at any other time, said Bhramar Mukherjee, a biostatistician at the University of Michigan, who monitors infections in India.

The country is not alone. There are deep crises in many places in the world, including Brazil and France, which are part of the new variant. More than a year into the epidemic, deaths worldwide have steadily increased, moving on average to about 12,000 per day, and new cases are also climbing. Over the weekend, the global death toll shocked 3 million people.

But this boom has been disastrous in India and has been overshadowed by global efforts to end the epidemic. As the country is a major vaccine producer, it has been forced to delay the export of shots abroad, hampering the campaign, especially in developing countries. In a sign of high stakes, the chief executive of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer, asked US President Joe Biden on Twitter last week To lift American Embargo on the export of raw materials needed to make shots.

As it grapples with increasing cases, India announced on Monday that it will vaccinate all people over the age of 18 from May 1. The country began vaccinating health workers in mid-January and later expanded the campaign to more than 45 people. India has administered 120 million doses so far, with a population of about 1.4 billion.

The country reported more than 270,000 infections on Monday, its highest daily increase since the epidemic began. It now has more than 15 million infections and over 178,000 deaths. Experts believe that these figures are also likely. Amid an increase in cases, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off his visit to New Delhi.

The city of 29 million people has fewer than 100 beds with ventilators, and fewer than 150 beds that need critical care. Similar tensions can be seen in other parts of the vast country, where fragile health systems have been weakened for decades and failure to prepare for the current boom has shattered hospitals under the pressure of increased infections.

In the Himalayan region of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir, there has been an 11-fold increase in the weekly average of COVID-19 cases in the past month. In the Telangana state of south India, home to the city of Hyderabad where most of India’s vaccine manufacturers are, the weekly average of infections has increased 16-fold in the past one month.

Meanwhile, election campaigns continue in the state of West Bengal in eastern India, as well as an alarming increase there, and experts fear that crowded rallies may promote the spread of the virus. Top leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have campaigned vigorously to win elections in the region.

In contrast, in New Delhi, authorities have begun to reimpose stringent measures. The Indian capital was closed over the weekend, but now officials say that for a week: all shops and factories will be closed, except for all those who provide essential services such as grocery stores. Apart from reasons such as seeking medical care, people should not leave their homes.

They will be allowed to travel to airports or train stations – a difference from previous lockdowns when thousands of migrant workers were forced to walk to their home villages.

That harsh lockout last year, which lasted for months, left deep scars. Politicians have since been reticent to refer to the term. When similar measures were taken in recent days, in the financial capital of Mumbai, the state of Maharashtra, the authorities refused to call it a lockdown. Those restrictions have to last for 15 days.

Kejriwal, a Delhi official, urged peace especially among the migrant workers suffering during the previous bandh, saying it would be “short”.

But many feared it would lead to economic catastrophe. Amrit Tripathi, a laborer in New Delhi, was among the thousands of people who left their homes under lockout last year.

“We will be hungry,” he said, if existing measures are extended.


This story has been updated to prove that the Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir has increased by 11 times, not 14 times, in the weekly average of COVID-19 cases in the last one month. It is also true that this region is not a state.


Hussain reported from Srinagar. Associated Press writer Neha Mehrotra contributed to this report.


The Associated Press Department of Health and Sciences has support from the Science Education Department of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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