As the Covid-19 crisis grew out of control across India, the government announced that vaccination centers in Mumbai, India’s largest city, were to close for three days from Friday.
The closure of the 94 centers was due to “the unavailability of vaccine stocks,” the municipal government said in a tweet Thursday evening.
“Every effort is made to increase the availability of the stock and take back the disc.”
India’s Supreme Court, meanwhile, said the country’s healthcare system has reached a ‘breaking point’ and retired healthcare workers may be asked to return to work, according to the thread. local Press Trust of India.
India recorded 386,452 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, setting another world record for daily cases. The country’s official death toll passed 200,000 on Thursday, but experts believe the real number could be 5 to 10 times higher, Reuters reported.
India has administered just over 150 million vaccines, according to the health ministry, a tiny proportion of its population of just under 1.4 billion people. Besides Mumbai, several other Indian states are also running low on vaccines, Reuters reported.
The crisis has overwhelmed hospitals and moratoria across the country, forcing cities to enact mass cremations in public spaces.
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The international response to the escalating crisis in India gathered pace on Thursday, with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla announcing that the country was to receive more than 10,000 oxygen cylinders, 4,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 production plants. oxygen from over 40 countries around the world, including the United States.
“To date, we have over 3 million active cases. This has obviously put a tremendous strain on our health system, on the capacities and resources that we have, ”Shringla told reporters.
“International cooperation is a vital element in meeting and filling the immediate needs we have.”
On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the United States had delivered its first shipment of technical support to India.
“Just as India came to our aid at the onset of the pandemic, the United States has pledged to work urgently to provide assistance to India when needed,” he said.
Two planes filled with oxygen cylinders and oxygen-generating supplies were due to arrive in India from the United States on Friday. A third plane is expected on May 3, according to the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As the country struggles to cope with one of the most serious public health crises in its history, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under fire for his handling of the crisis, with critics claiming he has failed managed to lock down the country in time.
On Thursday evening, Modi continued to urge Indians to participate in the final leg of the West Bengal elections, despite concerns that large gatherings could escalate into high profile events.
“In accordance with the latest Covid-19 protocols, I call on people to vote and enrich the festival of democracy,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
West Bengal is one of the few states where Modi does not have a majority.
CORRECTION (April 30, 2021, 3 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the number of vaccines administered by India. It’s a little over 150 million, not 15 million.