India daily COVID-19 deaths stay above 4,000 as Fawad Ch voices concern
Relatives and family members wearing PPE suits perform the last rites of the patients who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus at a crematorium in New Delhi. AFP
Some Indian states have said they would extend COVID-19 lockdowns to help contain the pandemic, which has killed more than 270,000 people in the country, as the federal government pledged to bolster vaccine supplies.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in India has risen more than 4,000 for the fourth time in a week, with Sunday's 311,170 new infections representing the lowest single-day rise in more than three weeks.
Federal health officials warned against any complacency over a "plateauing" in the rise of infections, however, and urged states to add intensive care units and strengthen their medical workforces.
The northern states of Delhi and Haryana extended lockdowns, slated to end on Monday, by a week.
Spread in rural areas
While lockdowns have helped limit cases in parts of the country that had been hit by an initial surge of infections in February and April, such as Maharashtra and Delhi, rural areas and some states are dealing with fresh surges.
The health ministry asked villages to look out for cases of flu-like illness and get such patients tested for COVID-19.
Bodies of COVID-19 victims were found to have been dumped in some rivers, the government of the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh said in a letter, in the first official acknowledgement of the alarming practice.
Police are reaching out to villagers in northern India to investigate the recovery of bodies buried in shallow sand graves or washing up on the Ganges River banks. There’s been speculation on social media that they are the remains of COVID-19 victims.
In jeeps and boats, police are using portable loudspeakers asking people not to dispose of bodies in rivers.
India's crisis hits Covax vaccine-sharing scheme
The international scheme to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines is 140 million doses short because of India's continuing Covid crisis.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest single supplier to the Covax scheme, has made none of its planned shipments since exports were suspended in March. The UN children's agency Unicef buys and distributes vaccines for Covax.
It is urging leaders of G7 nations and EU states to share their doses. They are due to meet in the UK next month. Unicef says data it has commissioned suggests that together this group of countries could donate around 153 million doses, while still meeting their commitments to vaccinate their own populations.
India’s Covid handling has created international crisis: Fawad Ch
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ch Fawad has criticized the poor handling of the Covid situation by the Indian government saying that the neighbouring country has plunged the whole region into danger, reported 24 News HD TV Channel on Monday.
Fawad Ch, in his tweet, lambasted the Indian government for creating an international crisis. He said the whole region is now suffering because of h huge Indian failure to face the challenge.
He said the Indian government’s irresponsible decision making has now endangered even neighbours.
He said our prayers are with the people of India.
Indian Government handling of #Corona has created an international crisis, whole region is now suffering because of #HugeIndianFailure to face the challenge, prayers are with people of India but irresponsible decision making of Indian leaders have now endangered even neighbours— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) May 17, 2021