India sends army to help hospitals hit by deadly coronavirus - GulfToday

India sends army to help hospitals hit by deadly coronavirus

Virus-Sad

Umar Farooq mourns next to the body of his mother, who died of coronavirus, before her burial at a graveyard in Srinagar on Monday. AFP

India ordered its armed forces on Monday to help tackle surging new coronavirus infections that are overwhelming hospitals, as countries including Britain, Germany and the United States pledged to send urgent medical aid.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said oxygen would be released to hospitals from armed forces reserves and retired medical military personnel would join COVID-19 health facilities.

Screen Shot 20210426 at 61303 PM

And where possible, military medical infrastructure will be made available to civilians, a government statement said, as new coronavirus infections hit a record peak for a fifth day.

"Air, Rail, Road & Sea; Heaven & earth are being moved to overcome challenges thrown up by this wave of COVID19," Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Twitter.

Screen Shot 20210426 at 61234 PM

Modi on Sunday urged all citizens to get vaccinated and to exercise caution amid what he called a "storm" of infections, while hospitals and doctors in some northern states posted urgent notices saying they were unable to cope with the influx. In some of the worst-hit cities, bodies were being burnt in makeshift facilities offering mass cremations.

FIRE KILLS 5 VIRUS PATIENTS

Following a fire at a hospital in the western diamond industry hub of Surat, five COVID-19 patients died after being moved to other hospitals that lacked space in their intensive care units, a municipal official told Reuters.

Virusdead-bodiesIndia--750x450A man carrying wood walks past the funeral pyres of those who died from coronavirus at a crematorium in New Delhi. Reuters 

Television channel NDTV broadcast images of three health workers in the eastern state of Bihar pulling a body along the ground on its way to cremation, as stretchers ran short.

"If you've never been to a cremation, the smell of death never leaves you," Vipin Narang, a political science professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, said on Twitter.

"My heart breaks for all my friends and family in Delhi and India going through this hell."

Virus-drip-Inida-750x450A relative holds a bottle of medicine administered to a patient sitting inside a car waiting to enter a COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad. Reuters 

On Sunday, President Joe Biden said the United States would send raw materials for vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear. Germany joined a growing list of countries pledging supplies.

In Moscow, which expects 50 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to be made each month in India this summer, a Kremlin spokesman expressed concern over the situation.

RALLY BACKLASH

Several cities have ordered curfews, while police enforce social distancing and mask-wearing. Politicians, especially Modi, have faced criticism for holding rallies during state election campaigns that draw thousands into packed stadiums.

About 8.6 million voters were expected to cast ballots on Monday in the eastern state of West Bengal, in the final phases of a contest set to wrap up this week. Also voting in local elections was the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, which has been reporting an average of 30,000 infections a day.

Modi's plea on vaccinations came after inoculations peaked at 4.5 million doses on April 5, but have since averaged about 2.7 million a day, government figures show.

Virus-Body-India-750x450Health workers carry the body of a man who was suffering from coronavirus in Mumbai. 

Virologists said more infectious variants of the virus, including an Indian one, have fuelled the resurgence.

The government told people to stay indoors and follow hygiene protocols. "Please don't invite people into your home... It has become clearer that the transmissibility of this virus is faster," said senior health official Vinod Kumar Paul.

Reuters

Related articles