COVID-19 cases in India have jumped drastically with a daily record of 200 thousand people infected on Saturday, the highest in the world.
Two men panting with oxygen were seen sharing a bed in a government hospital in New Delhi as the country’s Covid-19 crisis continues to escalate.
The hospital is one of India’s largest dedicated coronavirus facilities with more than 1,500 beds. But now they are overwhelmed.
“We are overloaded. We are already working at full capacity,” said the hospital’s medical director, Suresh Kumar.
The hospital initially only had 54 beds, but now there are more than 300 COVID-19 patients who are in critical condition.
Even that is not enough. Patients share beds, while the bodies of the recently deceased lie outside the ward before being taken to the morgue.
“Today we received 158 people at Lok Nayak alone,” said Kumar. Almost all of them were severe cases.
There are fears India has become the ‘new Brazil’ as cases skyrocket amid congestion and complacency as a million people gather for Hindu festivals.
Hospital workers fear India may become a new breeding ground for mutant viruses such as South American nations.
After imposing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns for nearly three months last year, the government relaxed nearly all restrictions in early 2021, although many regions have now imposed local restrictions.
Kumar from Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital said the new variant that was spreading coupled with the attitude of indifferent people made the COVID-19 cases there soar dramatically.
“The people (in India) are not following the COVID guidelines . They are careless,” he said.