India on Friday posted yet another record daily rise in coronavirus cases as hospitals across the country ran out of beds and oxygen.
According to official data by the health ministry, India traced 386,452 new infections and recorded 3,498 Covid-19 deaths over the last 24 hours.
India has added about 7.7 million cases to its total caseload since the end of February, when its second wave picked up steam.
Rijo John, a health economist and adjunct professor at the Rajagiri College of Social Sciences in Kerala said the country did not prepare “well enough” for the second wave
“India was lucky enough to have a second way, which was delayed compared to many other countries out there, and we had … long time to see what happened to the rest of the world in terms of how severe the second wave was.
“It’s an unfortunate situation. Everybody is responsible. I mean, not just the federal government but also the state governments are responsible to an extent.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government opened vaccinations for all adults starting from May 1, but several Indian states ran out of coronavirus vaccines a day before a planned widening of a nationwide inoculation drive.
Inoculation centres in the financial capital of Mumbai will shut for three days from Friday because of the vaccine shortage, authorities said.
Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged citizens not to show up at vaccination centres on Saturday, as doses had not yet arrived.
In Karnataka, home to the tech hub of Bengaluru, the southern state’s health minister said its vaccination drive for adults would not begin on Saturday.
On Friday, a group of 300 scientists asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for access to data that could help research the spread of the coronavirus, news agency Bloomberg reported.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has granular data on all residents who have been tested so far, but the access is restricted.
“The ICMR database is inaccessible to anyone outside of the government and perhaps also to many within the government,” almost 300 scientists wrote.
“While new pandemics can have unpredictable features, our inability to adequately manage the spread of infections has, to a large extent, resulted from epidemiological data not being systematically collected and released in a timely manner to the scientific community.”