The number of cases in India continues to rise as the country recorded over 332,000 cases and 2,263 deaths in the last 24 hours on Friday, taking its total tally to over 16 million. This is the second day in a row when cases have crossed 300,000.
Experts have said new variants of the virus, in particular a “double mutant” variant, have helped accelerate the surge.
Several countries have moved to ban flights from India or impose restrictions on travel to and from India, citing rising Covid-19 cases. The UK will begin treating India as a “red list” country from Friday, while Canada became the latest country to suspend all passenger flights from India for the next 30 days.
Meanwhile, the Indian state of Maharashtra recorded over 67,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking its total tally to over 4 million.
Hospitals have reported a severe shortage of oxygen and warned that they only have supplies for a few hours. A hospital in national capital Delhi said on Friday that 25 "sickest patients" have died in the last 24 hours and another 60 patients are at risk. It requested immediate intervention and warned of a major crisis.
Delhi on Thursday recorded its highest ever fatalities over the last 24 hours as 306 people died of Covid-19. More than 26,000 cases were logged in the city and the positivity rate has gone up to 36.24 per cent.