In India, 401,000 COVID-19 cases were recorded in a single day.

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On Saturday, India announced 401,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day, setting a new global high, owing to a sluggish vaccine deployment and a lack of oxygen supplies.

Cases recorded over the previous 24 hours marked the first time any country has surpassed 400,000 cases in a day, CNN reported.

According to the Johns Hopkins global tracker, the latest case takes India’s cumulative number of cases since the pandemic started to over 19.1 million, with 211,853 deaths.

Saturday was also the 10th consecutive day with daily cases exceeding 300,000, according to data from the Indian Ministry of Health, and the fourth day in a row with confirmed daily deaths exceeding 3,000.

According to Bloomberg‘s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, the vaccination rate is about 25 times faster in countries with the highest incomes compared to the lowest.

More than 1.13 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, enough to vaccinate 7.4% of the global population, Bloomberg reported. But India, a developing nation, lags behind wealthier countries in vaccine access with only 13.6% of the world’s vaccinations and 17.7% of the world’s population compared to wealthier China with 22.2% of the world’s vaccinations and 18.2% of the world’s population.

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The United States still leads the world in the highest number of cases at more than 32 million and the highest number of deaths at over 576,000, but Bloomberg’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker shows only 2% of India’s population has been fully vaccinated compared to 30.5% fully vaccinated in the United States.

India announced earlier this month that it would ramp up its vaccinations by allowing everyone above age 18 to get vaccinated started Saturday, but some states said they have been unable to start such vaccinations due to shortage of doses, the Times of India reported.

Worsening the condition, CNN announced that several hospitals in India are running out of oxygen stocks, rendering it a scarce supply and resulting in long queues in the capital New Delhi with no promise of receiving oxygen. Oxygen shipments from foreign relief began to arrive on Tuesday, but assistance was hampered by the time required for supply delivery and the construction of oxygen plants. n

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In the Batra hospital in New Dehli, a shortage of oxygen supply killed 12 COVID-19 patients, including a senior doctor, Hindustan Times reported.

Further complicating the crisis, in a COVID-19 hospital ward in India’s Gujarat state, a fire broke out early Saturday killing 18 people and damaging equipment and furniture, according to CNN.

In Australia, the health ministry announced a temporary pause on travelers from India entering the country if they have been in India within 14 days of departure. The temporary pause in travel will take effect Monday and will be reconsidered on May 15.

Failure to comply with the temporary pause may result in a penalty of up to five years in prison under Australia’s Bio Security Act.

“The government does not make these decisions lightly,” Minister for Health Greg Hunt said in a statement. “However, it is critical the integrity of the Australian public health and quarantine systems is protected and the number of COVID-19 cases in quarantine facilities is reduced to a manageable level.”

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Pakistan has restricted flights to slow the spread of COVID-19. A government agency announced on Twitter Saturday the country has decided to reduced inbound international flights by 20% from May 5-20.

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, declared Friday that the US would suspend travel from India beginning on Tuesday.

More than 877,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded globally on Friday, with 14,500 deaths, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 151.5 million and deaths to 3.18 million.

 

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