Coronavirus cases are surging in India, with the South Asian country reporting a global record of 362,567 new infections on Wednesday and the death toll crossing 200,000. Indian officials said 3,293 people died in the past 24 hours, the first time the country saw over 3,000 fatalities in one day.
India has been logging global daily records of over 300,000 cases for the last seven days. While the numbers are staggering, experts and epidemiological modelers believe that the real number of COVID cases and fatalities could be much higher. Hospitals, meanwhile, are being stretched to breaking point with people dying outside their doors or at home due to a lack of beds, drugs and medical oxygen. Crematoriums are working overtime, their chimneys cracking and iron frames melting from constant use. Wood is reportedly in short supply in places and some families are told to bring their own to burn.
Crates of ventilators and oxygen concentrators from the UK arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday, the first shipment of Western aid to have reached India.
In addition to the US and UK, Germany, France and the European Union have pledged support to India to better handle the crisis.
"We need really to stand with India now and try to help as much as we can," WHO spokesman Jasarevic said, adding: "We have not seen [a case explosion] in any other country on this scale."
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