India has reported a record 200,000 new Covid-19 cases as the financial hub of Mumbai entered a lockdown today, while many hospitals treating coronavirus patients reported severe shortages of beds and oxygen supplies.

The surge was the seventh record daily increase in the last eight days and comes as India battles a massive second wave of infections that has its epicentre in the economically-significant state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai. The western state accounts for about a quarter of the country’s total cases.

India reported 200,739 Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data released today. Deaths stood at 1038, taking the total to 173,123.

The total case load reached 14.1 million, second only to the United States which leads the global tally with 31.4 million cases.

Track the pandemic in India.

Hospitals and doctors in Maharashtra as well other regions including Gujarat and Delhi in the north reported chaotic scenes as healthcare facilities were overwhelmed with a surge in admissions of Covid-19 patients.

“The situation is horrible. We are a 900-bed hospital, but there are about 60 patients waiting and we don’t have space for them,” said Avinash Gawande, an official at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur, a commercial hub in Maharashtra.

Hospitals in other places including Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, reported oxygen shortages.

“If such conditions persist, the death toll will rise,” the head of a medical body in Ahmedabad wrote in a letter to the Gujarat state chief minister.

India’s government said the country was producing oxygen at its full capacity everyday for the last two days and it had boosted output.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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