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India braced itself for 500,000 infections a day

India has been hit this month by a relentless second wave that is overwhelming its health system.

India’s deeper coronavirus crisis could take another two weeks before a predicted peak of half a million cases per day is expected, a senior virologist warned yesterday. “That’s what some virus models are suggesting,” said Shahid Jameel, director of life sciences at Ashoka University, near Delhi.

Infections soared past 340,000, the highest rate in the world for the third consecutive day, as chaotic, poignant scenes engulfed hospitals. After a relatively benign first wave of last year’s pandemic, India has been hit this month by a relentless second wave that is overwhelming its health system. “Some government hospitals have two, sometimes three patients in one bed,” Jameel said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Oxygen deficiency – critical to the survival of patients with severe Covid-19-19 – has pushed up prices.

“Healthcare is free in a government hospital, but often they won’t have all the drugs you need, so you’ll have to buy them outside,” Jameel said. Private hospitals were also flooded, he said, as well as well-connected patients. got admission with only a mild case of the disease