Photo: courtesy of Democracy Mow!
India remains the global epicenter for COVID-19, reporting a record number of cases for the fifth straight day today with nearly 353,000 new infections.
Another 2,800 deaths were also reported, pushing the total death toll to over 195,000, though the true number is expected to be much higher. Hospitals are overwhelmed, with oxygen and other supplies running out, forcing health workers to turn away patients.
Abishek: “I came here to get my grandfather treated. He is suffering from COVID-19. They are not letting us in. We don’t understand anything. The guard here is saying there is no doctor available here. If there’s no doctor near the emergency ward, then where will we go? His oxygen level is dropping alarmingly.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi came under renewed fire this weekend after news that Twitter agreed to a request by his government to block critical tweets about his response to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, several countries have offered to help India battle its devastating surge. The U.S. said it would send medical treatments, testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and possibly oxygen supplies.
Some, including Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, are calling for the Biden administration to send the U.S.’s excess vaccine supply to India, the tens of millions of AstraZeneca vaccines it has in storage.