India sets new record for 314,000 new Covid cases in a day

India sets new record for 314,000 new Covid cases in a day
India has set a grim new record for new covid cases, as Boris Johnson cancelled plans to visit the country over virus fears.
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India just set a record [Getty]

India reported a global record of more than 314,000 new infections Thursday as a grim coronavirus surge in the world's second-most populous country sends more and more sick people into a fragile health care system critically short of hospital beds and oxygen.

The 314,835 infections added in the past 24 hours raise India's total past 15.9 million cases since the pandemic began.

It's the second-highest total in the world next to the United States. India has nearly 1.4 billion people.

According to the country's health ministry fatalities have risen by 2,104 in the past 24 hours, bringing India's overall death toll to 184,657.

A large number of hospitals are reporting acute shortages of beds and medicine and are running on dangerously low levels of oxygen.

The New Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the government to divert oxygen from industrial use to hospitals to save people's lives.

The government is rushing oxygen tankers to replenish supplies to hospitals.

Lockdowns and strict curbs have brought pain, fear and agony to many lives in New Delhi and other cities.

In scenes familiar across the country, ambulances are seen rushing from one hospital to another, trying to find an empty bed.

One resident of the city told the Associated Press he had been traveling from hospital to hospital in an attempt to find care for his wife.

Speaking in Gurugram, President of the Public Health Foundation of India Dr. K. Srinath Reddy said India had been "lulled into a sense of complacency" by falling case and hospitalization numbers over the winter months, and urged people to be "very cautious" as the virus continued to spread.

Grieving relatives have been lining up outside open air wood-pyre crematoriums where the arrival of dead bodies has been a common occurance after furnace crematoriums became overwhelmed.

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