Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (April 25) urged all citizens to be vaccinated and exercise caution, saying the “storm” of infections had shaken India, as the country set a new global record of the most number of COVID-19 infections in a day.
The number of cases surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks. Hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.
“We were confident, our spirits were up after successfully tackling the first wave, but this storm has shaken the nation,” Modi said in a radio address.
His government has faced criticism that it let its guard down earlier this year, allowed big religious and political gatherings to take place when India’s cases fell to below 10,000 a day and did not plan for boosted healthcare systems.
Hospitals and doctors have put out urgent notices saying they are unable to cope with the rush of patients.
India, a country of 1.3 billion people, has recorded a total of 16.96 million infections and 192,311 coronavirus deaths, after 2,767 more died overnight, health ministry data showed.
(Production: Paul Warren, Marissa Davison)