India's second coronavirus wave hits like a 'tsunami' as hospitals buckle under weight

India's second coronavirus wave hits like a 'tsunami' as hospitals buckle under weight
India's second coronavirus wave hits like a 
'tsunami' as hospitals buckle under weight

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details India's second coronavirus wave hits like a 'tsunami' as hospitals buckle under weight in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW DELHI — Healthcare and other essential services across India are close to collapse as a second coronavirus wave that started in mid-March tears through the country with devastating speed.

Graveyards are running out of space, hospitals are turning away patients, and desperate families are pleading for help on social media for beds and medicine.

India reported 295,041 cases of coronavirus and 2,023 deaths Wednesday, its highest rise in cases and highest death increase recorded in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, according to figures from the Indian health ministry.

"The volume is humongous," said Jalil Parkar, a senior pulmonary consultant at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, which had to convert its lobby into an additional COVID-19 ward. "It's just like a tsunami."

"Things are out of control," said Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in New Delhi.

"There's no oxygen. A hospital bed is hard to find. It's impossible to get a test. You have to wait over a week. And pretty much every system that could break down in the health care system has broken down," he said.

To prove his point, at least 22 COVID-19 patients who were on ventilator support died Wednesday waiting for oxygen supplies that were lost in an accident, a senior official from the Nashik district in the Indian state of Maharashtra said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday, acknowledging the country's "very big battle" against COVID-19.

He appealed to states to "use a lockdown as their last option," even as the capital New Delhi entered its first full day of a week-long lockdown.

On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned that failing to halt movement in the city could lead to "tragedy."

"We don't want to take Delhi to a place where patients are lying in hospital corridors and people are dying on roads," Kejriwal said.

On Tuesday, he warned that some Delhi hospitals were "left with just a few hours of oxygen," as authorities scrambled to convert sports complexes, banquet halls, hotels, and schools into much-needed treatment centers, with the goal to add 6,000 additional beds within days.

"Our healthcare system has reached its limit. It is now in a state of distress. It has not collapsed yet but it is in distress," Kejriwal said. "Every healthcare system has its limits. No system can accommodate unlimited patients."

With shortages being reported across the country, local and state leaders appealed to the federal government for more oxygen and medicine.

Modi appeared to answer those calls on Tuesday, announcing plans for the delivery of 100,000 cylinders of oxygen nationwide, new oxygen production plants, and hospitals dedicated to Covid patients.

But experts fear it's too little, too late, as positive patients compete for limited resources and mass gatherings threaten to spread the virus even further.

In Wednesday's incident in which 22 people died in the Indian state of Maharashtra, senior official Suraj Mandhare told reporters the oxygen was lost due to leakage from a tanker at the Zakir Hussain hospital.

"There was a valve leakage in tankers in Nashik, it was a large-scale leakage, definitely this would impact the hospital where the tankers were headed," Maharashtra's health minister Rajesh Tope told reporters Wednesday.

The district administration is coordinating with hospital officials to make oxygen available to patients who need it at the earliest, Mandhare said. The patients who died required oxygen as their "pressure" was low and the leakage from this shipment meant that they did not receive the supply in time, Mandhare added.

India's Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah tweeted about the event saying: "I am distressed to hear the news of the accident of oxygen leak in a hospital in Nashik. I express my deepest condolences on this irreparable loss of those who have lost their loved ones in this accident. I pray to God for the health of all the other patients."

In Maharashtra, there is currently a daily demand for 1,550 metric tons of oxygen for COVID-19 patients but the state manufactures 1,250 metric tons of oxygen which is being used entirely for medical purposes.

The remaining 300 metric tons are being supplied by other states, Tope told reporters on Wednesday. Maharashtra has 3,343,359 cases of coronavirus including 685,552 active cases and 61,343 deaths according to the Indian health ministry on Wednesday. — Courtesy CNN

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