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Indian states impose stricter lockdowns as COVID deaths hit record high

CoronavirusMay 08, 2021 01:11PM ET
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6/6 © Reuters. Policemen stand in front of Jama Masjid or Grand Mosque on Jumat-ul-Vida or the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, during a lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the old quarters of Delhi, India, May 7, 2021 2/6

By Sudarshan Varadhan and Tanvi Mehta

CHENNAI (Reuters) -India on Saturday reported its highest ever single-day COVID-19 death toll, as cases continued to rise and states imposed stricter lockdowns.

India's health ministry reported 4,187 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll close to 240,000. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that India will see 1 million COVID deaths by August.

Cases rose by 401,078 on Saturday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 21.9 million.

Medical experts say the real numbers of COVID-19 cases and fatalities are likely to be far higher than official tallies.

Tamil Nadu, known for its automobile manufacturing including BMW, Daimler (OTC:DDAIF), Hyundai, Ford, Nissan (OTC:NSANY) and Renault (PA:RENA), said it would move from a partial to a full lockdown on Monday, shutting public transport and state-run alcohol retailers.

Neighbouring Karnataka state extended a total shutdown late on Friday. The state capital Bengaluru is a major tech hub, home to major offices of companies including Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO).

India is yet to impose a national lockdown as it did during its first wave last year, but around half of all its states have imposed a total shutdown. The rest are under a partial shutdown.

India's drug regulator on Friday approved for emergency use a new drug called 2-deoxy-D-glucose after clinical trials showed it aided the recovery of hospitalized patients and reduced dependence on supplemental oxygen.

The drug was jointly developed by India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hyderabad-based Dr.Reddy's Laboratories Ltd .

Though it is the world's biggest vaccine maker, India is struggling to produce and distribute enough doses to stem the wave of COVID-19.

The country has administered over 167 million vaccine doses but its rate of inoculation has fallen in recent days and only around 2% of its 1.4 billion people have received the two doses needed to be fully immunised.

A CRISIS IN THE SOUTH

While cases in the country's northern and western areas have borne the brunt of the pandemic, southern states including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have seen infections surge.

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India has brought the healthcare system to the brink of collapse, with patients dying due to lack of oxygen or access to hospital beds.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticised for his handling of the oxygen shortage, though the government says it is doing all it can.

Medical journal Lancet said in an editorial on Saturday Prime Minister Modi's attempts to stifle criticism were "inexcusable."

"India must now restructure its response while the crisis rages. The success of that effort will depend on .. implementing a public health response that has science at its heart."

Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin said in a letter to Modi late on Friday that medical oxygen demand in the state could double in the next two weeks.

"The availability of oxygen in Tamil Nadu is very very critical," Stalin said, adding that 13 patients died in a hospital on the outskirts of Chennai due to the lack of oxygen.

Indian states impose stricter lockdowns as COVID deaths hit record high
 

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Comments (9)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 08, 2021 6:46PM ET
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Indian will get scared and protect themselves better then this will die down.
Avinash Gupta
Avinash Gupta May 08, 2021 1:18PM ET
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lock down is a necessity, whole country should be locked down for 2 months.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 08, 2021 1:18PM ET
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The problem was people didnt care, careless until s# hit their face. Now they get scared and slow the spread down just by that.
Avinash Gupta
Avinash Gupta May 08, 2021 1:18PM ET
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lock down is a necessity, whole country should be locked down for 2 months
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 08, 2021 10:31AM ET
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Here in the US, lockdowns were shown to not be effective.
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . May 08, 2021 5:45AM ET
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of course they are aryans not asian
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 5:31AM ET
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lockdowns will kiill more people than covid itself. Mark my words
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 May 08, 2021 5:31AM ET
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How so Danny? Maybe if you explain, I don’t have to keep track
stranger luv
stranger luv May 08, 2021 5:31AM ET
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at present, our medical facilities r full, so we need complete Lockdown atleast for 30 days.already implemented by states but central govt as of all countries is thinking about big corporates and avoiding lockdown.
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 5:31AM ET
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duck, many Indians don't have savings they will literally starve if there's no work. this covid really is a first world issue
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 08, 2021 5:31AM ET
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In the US, ststes with restrictive rules didn’t fair any better than thise with loose to no rules.
Subhash Das
Subhash Das May 08, 2021 4:41AM ET
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No govt. In the world having facility to provide medical facility to all citizens of country. Now the time came, all people to take responsibility for self discipline and apply the covid19 protocol for themselves guided by Who and govt.
Saleem Meer
Saleem Meer May 08, 2021 4:34AM ET
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cffb
srikanth reddy
srikanth reddy May 08, 2021 4:22AM ET
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yes, central govt taking some precautions but not enough to restrict virus and should take more and more steps like quick vaccination for all people and availability of oxygen beds..then only we can protect our people
 
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