India, gripped by one of the most deadly coronavirus surges seen by any country, will have to be ready for new waves and badly needs more oxygen from other countries, officials said Wednesday.
Facing critical shortages of hospital beds and oxygen, the warnings came as India reported 3,780 new pandemic deaths, a new daily high, and 382,000 new cases. Experts say the peak may not be reached for weeks.
New figures on Thursday showed that India confirmed national record new deaths, with 3,980 people lost in 24 hours. The number of cases recorded was also a record for the country, at 412,262.
According to the International Red Cross, India is bearing the brunt of a coronavirus crisis badly hitting all of South Asia, AFP reports.
K. Vijay Raghavan, the Indian government’s principal scientific advisor, said the country of 1.3 billion had to be ready for more trouble even after beating down this wave which has taken India’s caseload above 20 million infections.
“Phase 3 is inevitable given the high levels of circulating virus. But it is not clear on what timescale this phase 3 will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” Raghavan told a news conference.
With the government facing criticism as patients die in streets outside hospitals because of the bed shortages, consignments of oxygen and equipment have been arriving from the United States, France, Britain, Russia and other countries in recent days.
And India will need more oxygen from other countries to fight the surge until numbers stabilise, another government official said.
“We did not and do not have enough oxygen,” the top government official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If we could get more oxygen more lives would be saved.”