India, the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has reported more than 2 million new cases and 18,000 covid-related deaths this week alone, as a second catastrophic wave continues across the country, pushing hospitals and crematoriums beyond their breaking point.
India’s Ministry of Health reported on Saturday 401,993 new infections, the highest number of new cases reported to date in a single country in a span of 24 hours.
Hospitals across the country continue to demand medical supplies, especially oxygen.
Despite being the world’s leading vaccine producer, only 2% of India’s population has been vaccinated.
The increase in cases and hospitalizations in India has been attributed to several factors, including relaxed restrictions after a drop in infections in February, and environmental determinants such as decreased humidity in some parts of the country. Health experts believe that a new variant of the coronavirus, B. 1.617, often referred to as the” double mutant, ” is also responsible for the rampant spread. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have also received mounting criticism. As recently as 17 April, an unmasked Modi campaigned in rallies with thousands of supporters who also did not have their faces covered.