Active cases in the ongoing second COVID-19 wave in India may peak at 38-48 lakh between May 14-18 and daily new infections could hit a high of 4.4 lakh from May 4-8, according to a mathematical model by IIT scientists, who have revised their projections upwards.
India on Monday, April 26, 2021, saw a single-day rise of 3,52,991 (3.52 lakh) COVID-19 infections and 2,812 fatalities with 28,13,658 (28.13 lakh) active cases.
The scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur and Hyderabad applied the Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive), and Removed Approach’ (SUTRA) model to predict that active cases would go up further by over 10 lakh by mid-May.
Here are the latest updates:
Oxygen Express with 70 tonnes of oxygen reaches Delhi
The first Oxygen Express train for Delhi carrying around 70 tonnes of the life-saving gas reached the national capital early Tuesday, April 27, 2021 morning, officials said.
This oxygen will now be disbursed by the Delhi government to various hospitals, they said.
“#OxygenExpress has reached Delhi from Raigarh, Chhattisgarh with Oxygen for patients in the capital. Indian Railways is leaving no stone unturned in our collective fight against COVID-19, & ensuring sufficient availability of life-saving resources across the country,” tweeted Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Ganga Ram Hospital gets 2 tonnes
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here received two tonnes of liquid medical oxygen on Tuesday morning, an official from the hospital said.
The official asserted that they are in a “better situation” as compared to “the last few days” when the hospital in central Delhi faced a crisis due to severe shortage of the life-saving gas.
The hospital said it has 6000 cubic metres of oxygen in storage tanks which may last for 10 hours.
“We received two tonnes of liquid medical oxygen at 6 am on April 27. Yesterday, we had received a tanker carrying 10 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen. We are in a better situation as compared to the last few days and we hope this continues,” said the official.
Indian government did not request vaccines from the U.S.
The Biden administration has said that the government of India did not request it for ready-to-use vaccines, as pressure has been mounting on the U.S. to give out vaccines to countries such as India, which is in the throes of a massive COVID-19 outbreak. A senior administration official told The Hindu, during a briefing call with reporters, that no specific request for vaccines was made by the Modi government.
U.S. lawmakers and other influential voices have been calling for the U.S. to donate its spare vaccines to countries like India, particularly some of the tens of millions of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Indian-origin CEOs’ gesture
Tech giants pitch in to fight second wave
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has announced ₹135 crore funding support for India’s current pandemic battle, stating that he was ‘devastated to see the worsening COVID crisis’ in the country, while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also extended help. Promising to support India in the crisis using “its voice, resources and technology to aid relief efforts”, Mr. Nadella thanked the U.S. government for agreeing to help.
The statements from two big tech CEOs of Indian-origin, came after Sun Microsystems’ co-founder Vinod Khosla on Saturday promising to help with planeloads of oxygen, and e-commerce major Amazon which is donating oxygen concentrators and other equipment to several hospitals.
Oxygen, medical supplies likely from 15 countries
India expects to receive supplies from about 15 countries including Australia, China, Germany, Russia, UAE, UK and the United States in the next few days, to help tide over the current crisis for oxygen at hospitals and pharmaceuticals needed to treat coronavirus cases. On Monday, an Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft transported six cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai, and is expected to airlift six more on Tuesday for the Adani group. A German company is expected to ship 24 more containers later this week.
The Australian government said it hopes to send oxygen supplies, non-invasive ventilators, pharmaceuticals and PPE kits as well, and a decision on further aid will be made at a meeting on Tuesday.
Vaccines to States
Centre may put onus on States to import COVID-19 vaccines
The Centre has decided to leave the import of COVID-19 vaccines to State authorities and companies, two government officials told Reuters, a decision that may slow the acquisitions of shots as a second wave of the pandemic rips through the country.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government would instead aim to support domestic vaccine-makers by guaranteeing purchases from them, they said. The government this month paid Indian producers in advance, for the first time, for vaccine doses.
Ashoka Hotel to be used as COVID Health Centre
Following a request from the Delhi High Court, the city government has ordered that 100 rooms of the Ashoka Hotel here be used for setting up a COVID Health Centre facility for High Court judges, other judicial officers and their families.
The Primus Hospital will run the facility. The hotel staff will be provided with protective gear and given basic training. As per the April 25 order, all the services including rooms, housekeeping, disinfection and food for the patients will be provided by the hotel.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)