Delhi shuts down as the virus escalates again in India


NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Delhi imposed a week-long city-wide lockdown on Monday, as infections and deaths in India set new daily records and several local governments, including in the national capital, reported shortages of oxygen, beds and medicines.

India reported more than 272,000 cases and 1,619 deaths on Monday, as the second wave of the coronavirus continued to spread across the country. The deteriorating situation has caused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel a planned trip to the country next week, a decision the British and Indian governments announced on Monday.

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, announced Monday a citywide lockdown that starts at 10 p.m. Monday and ends around 5 a.m. on April 26.

“Our health systems have reached their limits,” he said. “We have no beds left in the intensive care unit. We are facing a huge shortage of oxygen.”

He said only basic services would be allowed, including grocery stores, pharmacies and food delivery. Wedding ceremonies will be restricted to 50 people.

“If we don’t impose a lockdown now, it could lead to a huge tragedy,” said Mr. Kejriwal.

last week, Government of MaharashtraWhich includes Mumbai, has banned public gatherings and ordered most businesses to close for the next few weeks after hospitals there began to overwhelm them. Its prime minister resume To Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use the Indian Air Force to airlift oxygen cylinders to fulfill the state’s request.

India is also facing a shortage of An experimental drug Remsiver.

on Sunday, Hemant SurinThe Chief Minister of the eastern state of Jharkhand asked the central government to allow him to import 50,000 vials of the drug, which World Health Organization Not recommended, from Bangladesh for emergency use.

“The gravity of the situation will be illustrated by the fact that for the total order of 76,640 vials, Jharkhand has received only 8,038 vials,” Mr. Surin said in a letter to the central government.

The shortage has led to disagreements between the opposition-led state governments and Mr Modi’s government, which controls the supply of medical oxygen and much-needed drugs.

On Sunday, Piyush Goyal, a minister in Mr. Modi’s government, asked states to keep demand for oxygen “under control” and allow patients to use “only the amount of oxygen they need.”

“There is news in many places about giving oxygen even when it is not needed,” he said. His comments were criticized by opposition leaders.

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