India reported its biggest daily jump in Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, as more than 260,000 new cases have been added in the past 24 hours.
At least 22 patients died due to low oxygen supply after a leakage in the oxygen supply tank of a civic hospital in India’s Nashik town, 167 km from Mumbai on Wednesday.
“The patients were on ventilators as well as on oxygen supply, which got interrupted after the leakage in the oxygen supply tank,” the Nashik district collector told media.
It was a dedicated COVID-19-care hospital with 150 patients who were either on a ventilator or dependent on oxygen. The casualties may rise even as oxygen supply from other locations is getting restored, the official said.
India has been facing a shortage of oxygen supply with the rising number of cases following which priority was given to the usage of oxygen for healthcare over industrial usage.
India’s COVID-19 death toll reached 180,530 on Tuesday. Besides, as many as 259,170 new cases were recorded between Monday and Tuesday, taking the total tally to 15,321,089.
There are still a total of 2,031,977 active cases in the country, with an increase of 102,648 active cases through Monday, even as 13,108,582 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals so far across the country.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday ruled out a lockdown amid the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.
Addressing the nation on TV for the first time amid the second wave of COVID-19, Modi also appealed to state governments to consider lockdown as a “last resort.”
The prime minister said that serious efforts were being made to ensure enough production and supply of oxygen across the country, especially those cities where it is required urgently.
He said that, unlike last year when COVID-19 had initially struck, the country is better placed now. “We have enough medical facilities to curb the pandemic spread,” he said.
Modi appealed to the people not to panic, strictly follow the COVID-19 protocols and not move out of homes until urgently required.
“We will overcome the second wave of the pandemic like we did last time.”
The biggest contributor to the surge has been Maharashtra, home to the financial hub of Mumbai. Officials have tightened virus restrictions across the state and imposed a full lockdown on the weekends.