COVID-19: India reports nearly 315,000 new cases in 24 hours, a world record

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India announced on Thursday nearly 315,000 new cases of Covid-19 identified over 24 hours, which is a world record, as hospitals in New Delhi face an oxygen shortage.

The second epidemic wave, which is attributed in particular to a “double mutation” of the virus and to the maintenance of mass gatherings which favored contamination, once again highlighted the dilapidated state of the Indian health system.

The Ministry of Health on Thursday reported 314,835 new contaminations, a daily report that no country in the world had previously recorded. This brings the total number of officially recorded cases in India, the second most affected country by the pandemic, to 15.9 million.

A total of 2,074 deaths were recorded over 24 hours in India, bringing the official toll of the epidemic to nearly 185,000. The number of cases and deaths per capita, however, remains significantly lower in India than in many other countries.

Acknowledging that India and its 1.3 billion inhabitants were waging “once again a big battle”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening asked in a televised address to his compatriots to do more in the face of the coronavirus.

Several hospitals and clinics in the capital have made a desperate appeal to the central government to urgently provide oxygen supplies to feed hundreds of patients on ventilators.