By:brightwebtv/nana asare barimah
India reported 352,991 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the fifth consecutive day of more than 300,000 coronavirus infections in the South Asian nation as it deals with a catastrophic second wave of the pandemic.
The country’s health care system has collapsed in the wave, with hospitals filled beyond capacity and unable to care for any new patients and a shortage of oxygen canisters so dire that some COVID patients are literally gasping for air.
India also posted 2,812 deaths Monday, another record one-day number, as crematories have been busy night and day setting fire to the dead. The capital New Delhi has extended a lockdown that was set to expire on Monday for another week.
The second wave has been blamed on the spread of more contagious variants of the virus, plus the easing of restrictions on large crowds when the outbreak appeared to be under control earlier this year
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has come under fire for holding packed political rallies and allowing an annual Hindu religious festival that attracted millions of pilgrims, urged all Indians to get vaccinated in his monthly radio address Sunday and not be swayed by what he called “any rumor about the vaccine.”
India has administered almost 138 million doses of the vaccine, but only 1.6% of its estimated 1.4 billion people are fully vaccinated, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. (Reuters/VOA)