India’s Covid-19 cases surpass 500,000

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India reported more than 17,000 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, putting the country ‘s total above 500,000, as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health today, with infections occurring in major cities including the capital, New Delhi.

India has the fourth largest virus outbreak worldwide in confirmed infections, and follows only the US, Brazil and Russia, according to a Reuters report. Infections are expected to grow steadily in India. Experts advising the nation’s government say authorities should now prioritise the reduction of mortality over stemming the spread of the virus. According to the director of the National Epidemiology Institute:

“Our focus should be on preventing deaths and not really getting bogged down because of numbers. Numbers are going to increase, ”

The COV-IND-19 study group, led by Bhramar Mukherjee, professor of biostatistics at the University of Michigan, predicts India will see between 770,000 and 925,000 cases by 15 July.

As diseases spread rapidly and hospitals expand, some cities, including New Delhi, are struggling to build temporary facilities with thousands of quarantine beds to care for Covid-19 patients.

The city of about 20 million people currently has about 13,200 beds designated for Covid-19 patients, with some hospitals run by the army and paramilitary doctors, which will add up to 20,000 beds in the coming weeks.

Staff shortages are likely to be a problem as hospitals are swamped and more temporary facilities will open, experts say, while health authorities in some cities are pushing for improved risk-based categorisation of patients.

“We must ensure that those who really need care are not denied facilities.”

SOURCE: The Guardian

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