With the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in India, the Chief of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Friday that he is very concerned about the fast-growing caseloads in the country.
"The situation in India is a devastating reminder of what the virus can do," Ghebreyesus said during a virtual briefing in Geneva. The situation in the country seems to be slipping out of hands with each passing day, amid acute shortage of oxygen beds and key emergency drugs like Remdesivir.
India reported yet another grim milestone of the highest number of daily new COVID-19 cases on Friday. A total of 3,32,730 COVID cases were recorded in the last 24 hours. The country also registered over 2,000 daily deaths for the third consecutive day with the highest spike in single-day deaths at 2,263 on Friday, taking the cumulative death toll in India to 1,86,920 so far.
On Thursday, India had reported 3,14,835 COVID-19 new cases and 2,104 deaths. Delhi recorded its highest ever fatalities at 306 on Thursday, besides logging more than 26,000 new cases. Since April 15, India has continued to report over 2 lakh new COVID cases on a daily basis.
The Union Government, meanwhile, announced that vaccination against COVID-19 will be opened up for anybody above the age of 18 from May 1. Currently, COVID-19 vaccination is open only for frontline workers and those above the age of 45 and those with comorbidities.
The state governments have also begun announcing their strategy to get their people vaccinated at the earliest to tackle the sharp spike in the number of cases in recent days. States like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc continue to report a high number of fresh COVID-19 cases while the number of persons who are dying everyday due to the virus in the country is also increasing on a daily basis.