Funeral pyres of people who died due to the coronavirus..
Funeral pyres of people who died due to the coronavirus are seen at a cremation ground in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, May 4.
India has now surpassed 20 million total confirmed COVID-19 cases amid a disastrous second wave of the disease that has essentially broken the country’s health care sector.
The health ministry reported another 357,229 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the 13th consecutive day it posted at least 300,000 new COVID-19 cases. The South Asian nation also reported 3,449 deaths over the last 24 hours.
India now has more than 20.2 million total cases, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, including 222,408 deaths. It is second behind the United States in total number of infections, while it remains in third place in total deaths behind the United States and Brazil.
The surge has been blamed on the emergence of more contagious variants of the virus, plus the easing of restrictions on large crowds when the pandemic appeared to be under control earlier this year.
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Indian National Congress opposition party, said on Twitter Tuesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inaction “is killing many innocent people” and called for a full nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
India’s COVID-19 crisis is aggravated by a critical lack of oxygen needed to treat critically ill patients, along with the raw materials needed to manufacture doses of the vaccine. While India is home to the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, only 2% of the country’s 1.3 billion people have been vaccinated, according to local reports. (AFP/VOA)