India has recorded close to 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking its total above that of Italy. The country now has the sixth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, 236,657. There have been 6,649 deaths.
The hospitals in Delhi,are reportedly running out of space. The health system in Mumbai is on the verge of collapse.
At the same time, the lockdownd is continuously being eased, with shopping centres, places of worship, restaurants, and offices reopening from Monday.
For weeks, India’s relatively low Covid-19 numbers had baffled experts. Despite the dense population, disease and underfunded public hospitals, there was no deluge of infections or fatalities.
Although India has the sixth highest number of cases, it is 12th in fatalities, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
Low testing rates explained the former, but not the latter. The hope – which also encouraged the government to lift the lockdown – was that most of India’s undetected infections would not be severe enough to require hospitalisation.
But the number of rising cases shows that the country could simply be witnessing a late peak in cases, experts say.
Many Indians have took to social media to talk about struggles to receive medical attention. They say several hospitals do not even have testing kits left.
Apparently, the government’s attempt to prepare medical facilities during the lockdown has failed.