India surpassed the 20 million reported coronavirus cases on Tuesday, and many more undetected, experts say, amid growing calls for a nationwide lockdown.
With these reported numbers, India became the second country after the United States to cross 20 million infections. Although aid from other countries has started to pour in, hospitals are still unable to help large numbers of the critically ill, and families have been left to search for much-needed oxygen. .
Prime Minister Narendra Modi came under heavy criticism from many for underestimating the virus earlier this year, and on Tuesday opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said a nationwide lockdown was desperately needed, calling it “the only option ”.
Mr Gandhi accused authorities of helping the virus to spread. “A crime has been committed against India”, written on twitter.
The Indian Premier League announced on Tuesday that it was suspending all remaining matches of the season after several players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus. The league had drawn intense criticism to move forward with their matches in cities that have been among the hardest hit.
Comprised of eight teams, the Indian Premier League is the largest cricket league in the world.
Since the league’s season started last month, some of cricket’s biggest stars have roamed the country in so-called bubbles and played in empty stadiums. But even strict security protocols couldn’t prevent team members from being infected. At least five people from three teams have tested positive. The competition was due to end at the end of the month.
“These are tough times, especially in India and although we have tried to bring some positivity and joy, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone returns to their families and loved ones in these hard times, ”league said in a declaration.
India reported more than 368,000 new cases and 3,417 deaths on Monday. It has reported more than 222,000 deaths from Covid-19, although the actual numbers are probably much higher.
With help shipped from countries like the United States and Britain, among others, weary residents hoped things could start to improve.
Eight oxygen production plants from France, each capable of supplying 250 hospital beds, have been assigned to six hospitals in Delhi and one in Haryana and Telangana, northern and southern states of India.
One of the generators was installed at Narayana Hospital in Delhi within hours of being delivered, according to The time of India. Italy also donated an oxygen production plant and 20 ventilators.