In India, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi called for a nationwide shutdown as the total number of cases in the country exceeded 20 million. Due to the second wave, it took about 4 months to add the last 10 million cases in India, which experienced the world’s fastest increase in corona virus infections. The first 10 million cases occurred in more than 10 months.
According to the data of the Ministry of Health of India, the country reported 357 thousand 229 new cases in the last 24 hours, while the number of deaths increased by 3 thousand 449 and reached 222 thousand 408. However, experts suggest that the actual number of cases in India could be five to 10 times higher than what was officially announced.
“The only way to stop the spread of the Corona virus is to implement a complete shutdown at the moment. The government’s inaction is killing many innocent people,” referring to the Government of India, Rahul Gandhi, MP from the Party of the National Congress of India, said.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reluctant to impose a national isolation due to the risk of economic loss, but some states in the country have imposed restrictions.
The increase in cases of the highly contagious Indian variant of Covid-19 has sunk the health system in the country, draining medical oxygen supplies vital to survival for those infected.
Modi has been criticized for not acting sooner to limit the recent wave of infection and largely allowing millions of unmasked people to attend religious festivals and crowded political rallies in March and April. The Times of India, one of the respected newspapers of the country, made the assessment that “The situation that has emerged in recent weeks is that both the Center and the states are sadly unprepared for the second wave”.
The increase in Covid-19 cases in India coincided with a dramatic drop in vaccines due to material and delivery issues.
Approximately 127 million people (9.3 percent of the population) received at least one dose of vaccine as of May 2 in the country with a population of 1.35 billion.
However, at least three Indian states, including the wealthy state of Maharashtra, which includes Mumbai, have closed some vaccination centers, citing issues with vaccine supply.
However, India has invited Pfizer / BioNTech, Johnson Johnson and Moderna to sell their vaccines to the country. However, none have yet applied to the country for vaccine approval.
The state of Maharastıra administered 79 thousand 491 doses of vaccine on Monday, compared to a record 534 thousand 372 a week ago. At the same time, local health officials said that vaccination practices in 11 of 30 districts of the eastern state of Odisha stopped, citing insufficient funds.
Public estimates of India’s two current vaccine manufacturers show that total production of 70-80 million doses will increase in just two months or more, but the number of people eligible for vaccines has doubled to an estimated 800 million since May 1.