The Indian government is facing calls for a strict lockdown to curb the devastating growth of new coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, a New Delhi court will decide whether to punish officials for failing to end the instability of two weeks of excess oxygen supply. hospital.
Since the start of the pandemic, India has had 382,315 new confirmed cases and the total number has exceeded 20.6 million. The Health Ministry also reported Wednesday that 3,780 people died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 226,188. Experts believe that these two figures are underestimated.
The leader of the opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, said this week: “As the Indian government completely lacks strategy, the blockade is now the only option.”
The New Delhi High Court will decide whether to challenge officials’ contempt charges because officials ignored their orders to meet the oxygen needs of more than 40 hospitals in the capital. The culprits face six months in prison or fines.
The court summoned two Interior Ministry officials to participate in Wednesday’s hearing: “You can put your head in the sand like an ostrich, we will not. We will not refuse,” judges Vibin Sanji and Reka Pali said.
The judges said the harsh reality is that hospitals are reducing the number of beds and requiring patients to move their beds to other locations. The court is hearing petitions from various hospitals and nursing homes struggling with irregular oxygen supplies.
Raghav Chaddha, the spokesman for the Aam Aadmi Party that governs New Delhi, said hospitals only receive 40% of the demand for 700 metric tons (772 US tons) through the federal government, and the local government is also organizing more supplies to compensate for the shortage and build other new Oxygen Plants.
The latest wave of infections since April has brought Indian healthcare to the brink, with people asking for oxygen cylinders and hospital beds on social media and news channels.
The corpses were piled up in crematoriums and cemeteries, and relatives awaited the final ceremony.
Student Dileep Kumar said he was asked by hospital authorities to transfer his father to another hospital in Ghaziabad, a suburb of New Delhi, which ran out of oxygen on Tuesday.
Authorities are struggling to add beds, send oxygen from one corner of the country to another, and expand the scale of production of various drugs that are effective against COVID-19.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reluctant to impose a nationwide blockade due to concerns about the economic impact. Modi said last month that this should be the last resort.
However, nearly twelve states have imposed restrictions on their own. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state with a population of 200 million, imposed a five-day lockdown this week. The second and third most populous states of Maharashtra and Bihar are also blocked by various restrictions.
Insufficient doses hampered efforts to scale up vaccination efforts. India is a country with a population of 1.4 billion and has so far administered 160 million doses.
The world community is extending a helping hand. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and several other countries / regions are rapidly providing India with therapeutic agents, rapid virus and oxygen tests, as well as some materials that India needs to increase its domestic COVID-19 vaccine production.