India’s Second Wave Gathers Pace With Record 200,000 Covid Cases
(Bloomberg) -- India reported more than 200,000 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday -- its highest one-day surge since the pandemic broke out -- as a deadlier new wave grips the world’s second worst-hit country.
With 200,739 new cases, the outbreak in the South Asian nation has now recorded more than 14 million infections. Total deaths rose to 173,123, while more than 114 million vaccine doses have been administered, according to latest data from India’s health ministry.
After new infections ebbed at the beginning of the year, Covid cases began spiking again in March. The latest wave shows no sign of receding and has begun to overwhelm hospitals and crematoriums in India, triggered a shortage of vaccines and forced many parts of the country to impose lockdown-like restrictions this month to break the chain of viral transmission.
India’s capital, New Delhi, on Thursday announced movement restrictions over the weekend after reporting a record-high 17,282 infections a day earlier. Apart from the curfew, authorities also announced that all malls, gyms and spas in the city would close and restaurants would only be allowed to make deliveries for the time being. Movie theaters will be allowed at 30% of capacity. The city already has a night curfew in place.
“Every day the cases were continuing to rise,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference. “These restrictions are needed right now.”
Earlier this week, India fast-tracked approvals for Covid-19 vaccines already approved in some developed countries to have a wider pool of shots in a race to curb the outbreak. The move effectively opened the door to cutting-edge shots made by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., and came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government granted emergency-use approval to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, the third shot endorsed for the nation’s inoculation program.
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