The country, which recorded fewer than 15,000 infections per day last month alone, has reported more than 200,000 cases of Covid-19 per day since April 15.
Yesterday (April 19), India reported 273,810 new cases of Covid-19 infection and 1,619 deaths, both. highest one-day bursts. This brings the number of active Covid-19 cases to nearly 2 million.
The current wave began in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat and has now spread to almost the entire country.
For example, in Delhi as of April 1, there were only about 2,800 new infections, while the number of active infections was 10,498. Yesterday, there were 25,462 infections and 74,941 people. This means a 900% increase in the number of new infections and an increase in the number of active cases in just 18 days.
What is most alarming is that nearly 30% – one in three Delhi residents – have tested for Covid-19 now testing positive.
Given this surge, the Delhi government announced a weekly curfew yesterday (April 19). Almost all commercial and public institutions, except for those providing essential services, will be closed until April 26.
However, across the country, this unprecedented and sudden rise in infections has brought India’s healthcare infrastructure to its knees.
Several Indian states are sounding the alarm over oxygen shortages, a basic need that can lead to significantly more deaths if not met.
The chief ministers of Delhi and Maharashtra have asked the central government to increase supplies. Deaths have been reported from states such as Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh because patients were unable to receive oxygenation on time.