India sees world’s highest daily cases amid oxygen shortage
India is struggling to cope with the soaring numbers – it recorded some 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,104.
Oxygen supply has been a particular problem, with a number of hospitals in the capital Delhi running out entirely on Thursday, according to the city’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia.
Numerous other hospitals are understood to be running dangerously low on supplies, including one treating another Indian politician, Saurabh Bharadwaj.
Delhi legislature member Mr Bharadwaj posted a plea for help in Hindi on Twitter from his hospital bed, saying there were just three hours of oxygen left.
“A lot of people are dependent on oxygen and without oxygen, these people will die just like fish die in the absence of water,” he said, according to a translation by news channel NDTV. “This is a time for all to come together to work.”
The crisis worked its way to Delhi’s highest court on Wednesday, where judges publicly criticised the central government for its handling of the oxygen crisis in the city.
“This is ridiculous. We want to know what the centre is doing with regard to oxygen supply across India,” the judges said while reading out the verdict in a petition by the owner of six private hospitals.
On Thursday, as hospitals warned stocks were rapidly diminishing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting to attempt to end the crisis. He asked officials to find ways to produce more oxygen, while telling states to come down “heavily” on anyone hoarding supplies.
Online foodtech platform, Zomato and payments major, Paytm on Sunday launched their donation drives to help hospitals and families of individuals affected by covid, source oxygen concentrators and other health-related supplies.
Further, both companies claim to have sourced supplies of oxygen concentrators and are looking to place orders through donation proceedings.
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