Upon what seemed like a hopeful end to the havoc wreaked by the novel coronavirus, recent reports are showing worrisome news all across the world.
India, a country once said to be “in the endgame” by India’s Health Minister, continues to break the infection record each day. India reported 349,691 new infection cases of COVID-19 on Saturday April 24. The previous four days have all set the world record for daily infections. For its ninth consecutive day, India also has reported the highest daily death toll of 2767 patients since the past 24 hours. With sudden, yet immense COVID-19 numbers, hospitals and communities in general are overwhelmed with fear and worry. With lack of preparation and anticipation, hospitals reported that every supply was low or out of stock. This included essential intensive care unit beds, oxygen, ventilators, medicine, and personnel. However, local private companies are offering a helping hand to help with supplies. For example, on April 24 Saturday, Sahil Barua, co-founder and CEO of Indian courier company Delhivery, announced that his company would cooperate with airline partners to ship oxygen concentrators and other supplies. ON Thursday Apr 22, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs announced to ban the usage of oxygen in industrial purposes temporarily. Only deceased bodies seem to be high in numbers, overflowing in morgues and crematoriums. Overall, out of India’s grand population of 1.3 billion people, over a million people were infected in the past three days. This surge accumulated to a total of 16.9 million recorded cases since the initial outbreak and now, 192311 deaths as well.
In response to the India outbreak, South Korea officially announced new travel restrictions for those traveling to India starting Apr 25 Sunday. The restrictions will include heavy testing and limited plane seats. “Flights carrying South Korean citizens will be allowed but at a limited capacity,” South Korea health official Son Young-rae said in a briefing.
Countries, including South Korea, reported their concern for the novel B.1.617 COVID-19 variant. This variant has been said to contain multiple mutations which increase infection and aid in escaping immune response, said by the Indian Health Ministry.
Like South Korea, Germany has also placed travel restrictions of establishing a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival from India. “In order not to jeopardize our vaccination campaign, travel to India must be significantly restricted,” tweeted German Health Minister Jens Spahn.
Despite recent efforts of vaccination distribution and somewhat safer numbers of cases, India’s now second wave shows serious consequences.