India has set another record in the current surge of new COVID-19 infections Thursday as officials warn that a third wave will hugely sweep the country.
The Health Ministry reported a single-day record of 412,262 new confirmed coronavirus cases, including a record of 3,980 deaths. The South Asian nation’s total COVID-19 figures now stand at just over 21 million confirmed cases and 230,168 deaths.
With 1,955,733 more Covid-19 vaccine doses being administered on Wednesday, India’s total count of vaccine shots so far reached 162,513,339. The count of recovered coronavirus cases across India, meanwhile, reached 17,280,844 – or 81.99 percent of the total caseload – with 329,113 new cured cases being reported on Thursday.
Vijay Raghavan, a senior government scientific adviser, warned Wednesday that the third wave of coronavirus infections would sweep the country as it struggles with the devastating effects of the current wave.
“Phase 3 is inevitable, given the high levels of circulating virus,” Raghavan said at a news briefing in New Delhi. “But it is not clear on what timescale this phase 3 will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” he added.
India’s crisis is aggravated by a critical lack of oxygen needed to treat critically ill patients, along with the raw materials needed to manufacture doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. While India is home to the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, only 2% of the country’s 1.3 billion people have been vaccinated, according to local reports.
The government has been ordered by the Supreme Court to submit a plan to meet oxygen needs in New Delhi hospitals by Thursday.