India set a new global record of the most number of Covid-19 infections in a day, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, saying the “storm” of infections had shaken the country.
The United States said it was deeply concerned by the massive surge in coronavirus cases in India and was racing to send aid to India.
India’s number of cases surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.
“We were confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation,” Modi said in a radio address.
Modi’s government has faced criticism that it let its guard down, allowed big religious and political gatherings to take place when India’s cases plummeted to below 10,000 a day and did not plan on building up the healthcare systems.
Hospitals and doctors have put out urgent notices that they were unable to cope with the rush of patients.
People were arranging stretchers and oxygen cylinders outside hospitals as they desperately pleaded for authorities to take patients in.
“Every day, it the same situation, we are left with two hours of oxygen, we only get assurances from the authorities,” one doctor said on television.