This week, the United States experienced good news when it saw coronavirus cases falling. New infections of the virus dropped 16 percent in the U.S. this past week, with 55,000 daily cases vs. the 66,000 per day the week previous. Even in Michigan, which had a surge recently, the cases dropped by about 30 percent. Also, this weekend will see the milestone of 100 million Americans fully vaccinated. Sadly, other countries aren’t faring as well. For example, the second wave of Covid is overwhelming India as it breaks global records for cases.
India Overwhelmed with Second Wave of Covid
On Friday, India’s Health Ministry reported 386,452 new infections — breaking the global record. The country also had 3,498 deaths in that same 24 hours. Friday’s numbers bring India’s confirmed cases to over 18.7 million.
The upsurge has caused funeral pyres to burn nonstop in the country’s capital city, New Delhi. Delhi’s crematoriums say they are cremating more than 600 bodies a day. Surprisingly, that is double what is officially being reported as the daily death toll for the capital city. The dire figure is an indicator that there may be an underreporting issue. Hospital administrators and nervous politicians may be overlooking or undercounting the massive numbers that have died, analysts say.
Shortages Compound the Misery
Cremation is an essential part of Hindu funeral rites. However, so many fires have been lit for funeral pyres in Delhi that it is causing wood stocks to run low. In Hinduism, the body is cremated as a way of freeing the soul from this life so that it can be reincarnated for the next. Meanwhile, families are paying for the wood to cremate their relative’s bodies. Many of them see no choice, as they compete for space at packed crematoriums.
Similarly, as the virus surges in the country, there is a shortage of oxygen tanks in hospitals. This is leading some residents to turn to the black market for oxygen.
As India reaches crisis level, its largest city, Mumbai, closed nearly a hundred vaccination centers for three days from Friday due to non-availability of vaccine stock the municipal government said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, India’s Supreme Court announced that the country’s healthcare system is at its “’breaking point’” and that retired healthcare workers could be asked to go back to work.”
“India is Dying”
Actor and comedienne Mindy Kaling’s discussions and comedy material are often light-hearted and fun. Kaling, whose parents are both Indian, showed her serious side as she took to social media to draw attention to India’s recent plight. On April 29, she wrote on Instagram:
“#Repost @deepica. No matter where you’re from, what’s happening in the largest democracy in the world is a humanitarian crisis – India needs us. This is real and devastating. Covid cases/deaths are on a rise & we have to help.”
Mindy Kaling, via Instagram
“Swipe left to learn more and please continue to amplify what’s happening. We need everyone in on this,” she added.
The Office star also lets her fans know where they can donate and make a difference. She writes, “If you can, please donate. Here are some resources: @hemkunt_foundation @khalsa_aid @give_india @feedingfromfar.
On April 30, she took to Twitter to share more resources to support the Covid crisis.
The Biden Administration Restricts Travel from India
As India contends with the overwhelming surge in coronavirus cases, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that the Biden administration will impose restrictions on travel from the country, effective Tuesday, May 4. The administration made the decision based on CDC Recommendations, Psaki said.
Latin America Also Hit Hard
Along with India, Latin America is experiencing a crisis related to the resurgence of the coronavirus. Countries on the South American continent are among the hardest hit.
In Bogotá, Columbia’s capital, the mayor is telling residents to prepare for “the worst two weeks of our lives.” Also, Uruguay, once a stronghold against the virus, now has one of the highest global death rates.
Furthermore, Venezuela announced that coronavirus fatalities have gone up 86 percent since January. In recent days, the number of dead are also at record highs in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.