India fears another COVID disaster as cases reach a 7-month high | Coronavirus pandemic news

With the Omicron variant surpassing Delta in cities, India has reported 117,100 new COVID-19 cases, which is the highest value since the beginning of June last year.

The Ministry of Health also reported 302 new deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 483,178. The total number of infections is 35.23 million.

The number of cases has not yet matched the huge numbers seen during the cruel second wave of the pandemic last year, when thousands of people died every day, and the crematorium maintained an all-weather crematorium for cremation of victims.

but Daily infection It has almost tripled in two days this week. This is a surge driven by the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant. Some experts worry that the country’s hospitals may be overwhelmed again.

Haunted by the specter of the second wave, India is preparing to welcome a large number of COVID-19 cases, and authorities in several cities have taken restrictive measures to control the infection.

The capital New Delhi has imposed a curfew, and weekend movement restrictions will begin on Friday night, and all non-essential workers are required to stay at home.

Bangalore, the technology center, also announced a weekend curfew, while the huge financial center Mumbai imposed a night curfew.

India COVID crisis AhmedabadA social activist helps a rickshaw driver put on a protective mask in Ahmedabad [Amit Dave/Reuters]

Gautam Menon, a professor at Ashoka University in India who is engaged in COVID-19 infection modeling, told AFP: “Even a small part of a large number of cases can be converted into absolute numbers.”

“This may put the pressure on the healthcare system to a level equal to or worse than the second wave.”

So far, the doctors and nurses who have spoken to France-New Zealand are optimistic. The number of patients admitted to the hospital has fewer severe cases and they have rich experience.

“Last year, we didn’t know what we were dealing with. I think now, mentally, things are better,” said a frontline worker at a hospital in New Delhi.

Suresh Kumar, director of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital in the capital, said the number of cases in the hospital had doubled from a few early this week to 20 times. He said the increase was “not a cause of panic”.

So far, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) has avoided the severe nationwide blockade imposed during the catastrophic outbreak last year.But local officials have seen The number of cases has risen sharply With alarm.

Earlier, the virus blockade dealt a heavy blow to the Indian economy, and many people worried about the financial impact of the new restrictions.

“I only work 15 days this month,” said Tumul Srivastava, a New Delhi resident, whose office is subject to the city’s 50% occupancy rate.

“My salary may be deducted. All of this adds to my anxiety.”

‘System may crash’

India seems more suitable Weather Omicron Compared with the catastrophic delta wave that started in March last year, more than 200,000 people died in a few weeks.

At that time, the hospital ran out of oxygen, and patients were desperately fighting for medicines after rushing to buy the pharmacy.

Since then, Indian health workers have injected nearly 1.5 billion doses of vaccine. Government data show that nearly two-thirds of the country has been fully vaccinated.

This campaign, coupled with last year’s delta raids in towns and villages across the country, may help mitigate the impact of the latest spread.

Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, told AFP: “Although we don’t have data, it may provide a strong mixed immunity for serious consequences.”

So far, preliminary research has shown that Omicron variants cause Not that serious Despite the rapid spread, it has had an impact on the health of the infected.

However, Mukherjee warned that the uncontrolled spread of new infections could still cause serious problems for India, even if the direct virus death toll was only a small percentage of last year.

“As you have seen in the United States and the United Kingdom, most of the sick working population is affecting social infrastructure and causing chaos,” she said.

“I worry that India might see the same thing for a while-it’s just that the large number may crash the system.”