Coronavirus: Indian government faces lockdown calls, contempt charges

Brenda Watkins
May 5, 2021

The variant that has a mutation similar to the one found in the South African variant B.1.351 (501Y.V2) is believed to be driving the second wave in India. Many people have died due to a lack of proper treatment.

Forecasts by India's two current vaccine producers show it will take two months or more to boost total monthly output from current figures of 70 million to 80 million doses.

In return, Chakravorty stated that the United Kingdom had agreed to "open up the fisheries sector for more Indian players, facilitate more opportunities for nurses, recognise Indian seafarers certificates and also enter into a joint dialogue on the Social Security Agreement".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown for fear of the economic fallout, but several states have imposed social curbs.

This has overwhelmed India's chronically underfunded health care system, leading to dire shortages of hospital beds, drugs and oxygen, with patients dying outside packed clinics in New Delhi and elsewhere.

Rows of funeral pyres in parks and carparks cremate the overflow of corpses.

Offering a glimmer of hope, coronavirus cases in some regions were plateauing, a federal health ministry official said on Monday.

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Modelling by a team of government advisers shows cases could peak by Wednesday this week, a few days earlier than a previous estimate, since the virus has spread faster than expected.

"Without drastic measures to bolster the health system to deal with this onslaught, decreased social mixing, and increased effective face mask use, the situation now looks quite grim for India", said an updated country-specific policy briefing from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a widely regarded independent research wing of the University of Washington based in Seattle.

"4,06,339 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of Covid vaccine across 12 States/UT".

The eastern state of Odisha also halted vaccination drives in 11 out of its 30 districts, local health officials told Reuters, citing paucity of resources.

Some of the investments listed had already been made public. Today our Prime Ministers have set an ambitious target of doubling trade by 2030 and announcing £1 billion of new trade and investment.

Despite being the world's biggest producer of vaccines, India does not have enough for itself. The fifth in a series of consignments carrying 545 oxygen concentrators also arrived from the United States on Tuesday.

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