Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: India buckles under crisis

Nithin Belle (Mumbai)
Filed on April 20, 2021 | Last updated on April 20, 2021 at 11.22 pm

The total in the national capital now adds up to 12,368 deaths and over 85,000 active cases.

India's Covid crisis worsened on Tuesday, with over 278,000 new cases registered and 1,829 deaths reported. Delhi saw 28,395 new cases and 277 deaths. The nation's health system seems to collapse under the worst surge with hospitals running out of beds and oxygen supplies.

The total in the national capital now adds up to 12,368 deaths and over 85,000 active cases. Delhi is now under a six-day lockdown, which began on Monday night and will continue until 5am on April 26. Incidentally, Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, went into quarantine after his wife Sunita tested positive. Kejriwal has been suffering from fever over the past few days and has opted for self-isolation.

The Delhi chief minister also appealed to the central government to urgently provide oxygen to the capital. "Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen," he said.

With several states facing a massive Covid crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday night, urging states "to focus on micro containment zones and use the option of complete lockdown only as the last resort." He urged the people to guard against rumours, and "we need to guard against lockdowns and states also need to understand this,", he added.

Several other states continued to witness a spurt in new cases and also a sharp increase in casualties. While Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, saw 62,097 new cases and 519 deaths, other states with high rates include Uttar Pradesh (29,574 new cases and 162 deaths), Karnataka (21,794 new cases and 149 deaths), Kerala (19,577 and 28) and Tamil Nadu (10,986 and 48).

Uttar Pradesh saw a nearly 30,000 increase in confirmed cases on Tuesday, and with 162 people succumbing to the disease, the toll crossed the 10,000-mark. Kerala too saw nearly 20,000 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, its highest single-day peak, and making it the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra (3.96 million) at 1.27 million cases.

Another state that is facing an upsurge in cases in Karnataka, which saw almost 22,000 new cases on Tuesday, taking the total to 1.2 million, and 149 deaths (total 13,646). The state declared a night curfew from Wednesday 9:00pm to May 4, 6:00am.

Maharashtra minister Rajesh Tope told the media that all ministers in the cabinet had urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to declare a complete lockdown to curb the second Covid wave, which has crippled the state, especially Mumbai. A decision will be taken on Wednesday by Thackeray.

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