India on Wednesday recorded its highest single-day death toll caused by the coronavirus since the pandemic began, as hospitals in the country continue to struggle with the massive patient load.
According to Health Ministry figures released on Wednesday morning, 3,780 people died in the past 24 hours, pushing the total number to 226,188.
While there was a slight drop in daily infections since Saturday, cases jumped again to 382,315 on Wednesday, propelling the total coronavirus mark to 20.66 million.
After India registered more than 400,000 new cases — a new record on Saturday last week — there was a decline in daily cases, with the figure reaching 357,229 on Tuesday.
With the exponential rise in daily COVID-19 cases, leaving the health system crumbling, a number of hospitals in the national capital New Delhi continue to raise the alarm about the shortage of medical oxygen supply in the hospitals.
Several hospitals are now approaching Indian courts as patients have died due to low oxygen supplies in the hospitals.
In a strongly-worded order, an Indian court has now remarked that death of patients due to lack of oxygen supplies was “not less than genocide.”
“We are at pain in observing that death of Covid patients just for non supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen,” the Allahabad High Court in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh said on Tuesday.
The court was hearing a case related to the deaths of coronavirus patients due to lack of medical oxygen supplies.
Meanwhile, the country’s central bank has announced a liquidity facility of 500 billion Indian rupees ($6.7 billion) for access to emergency health services in the country.
The announcement by the Reserve Bank of India came as the country continues to struggle through the devastating second wave of pandemic.
“Under the scheme, banks can provide fresh lending support to a wide range of entities including vaccine manufactures … and also patients for treatment,” Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday, adding that the funds would be provided for a period of up to three years.
Das, who was announcing measures to ease the economic stress caused by the second wave, underlined that the bank would continue to monitor the situation and deploy all resources and instruments at its command.
“Restoring normalcy in access to workplaces, education and incomes becomes an imperative,” he said.