Despite the shortage of oxygen in hospitals and strict restrictions, the number of daily cases broke a record due to the Hindus bathing in the Ganges River as part of a religious festival called “Kumbh Mela” in India. The country reported 184,372 new cases and 1,27 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
New coronavirus infections in India broke the record due to the oxygen shortage in other regions and the crowd of pilgrims gathering for a religious holiday despite strict restrictions.
According to the data of the Ministry of Health, the country reported 184 thousand 372 cases in the last 24 hours, and the total infected people in the country increased to 13.9 million. Deaths increased by 27 thousand and reached 172 thousand 85.
Yet hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus gather to bathe in the Ganges river on the third important day of the week-long religious holiday known as the Kumbh Mela or Jug Festival.
Sanjay Gunjyal, the police inspector general of the festival, stated that approximately 650 thousand people were bathed in the river yesterday morning and said, “In non-crowded ghats (bathing areas), people are fined for not following the social distance, but it is very difficult to punish people in very crowded main ghats.”
India has been the worst-hit country in the world in terms of new daily cases since April 2, while more than a thousand cases were reported in the Haridwar area in the past two days, earlier this year, according to government data.
On the other hand, Maharashtra, India’s richest state, which is the epicenter of the national second wave and accounts for nearly a quarter of the cases in the country, has decided to impose strict restrictions to try to contain the spread. Private hospitals, which are overcrowded elsewhere, turn patients away and place an increasing burden on government facilities.
In the state of western Gujurat, the local press released footage of a long queue of ambulances waiting in front of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, and the news showed that some patients were being treated while they were waiting in line.
A hospital staff member who refused to reveal his name because he was not authorized to speak publicly explained that the situation stems from the fact that many private hospitals send their patients to the public hospital due to lack of oxygen.