India passes 20 million cases amid oxygen shortage


India has recorded more than 20 million Covid infections, but the government says that cases are “slowing down”.

The country added more than 355,000 cases on Tuesday, down from more than 400,000 daily cases in April.

But testing numbers have dipped as well, sparking fears that India’s true caseload is far higher.

However, case numbers have been consistently falling in Maharashta state, which had driven the second wave since early April.

Meanwhile oxygen shortage has shown no signs of abating and people in several hotspot cities, including the capital Delhi, are struggling for treatment.

The country’s second wave, fuelled by lax safety protocols and massive public festivals and election rallies, has also overwhelmed its hospitals. Delays in testing, diagnosis and treatment, as well as a shortage of critical care beds and crucial drugs, has resulted in a spike in deaths too.

The country has so far reported 222,000 deaths due to the virus. However, experts say India’s Covid death toll is vastly under-reported as official tallies don’t appear to match what people are witnessing on the ground – long lines at crematoriums, mass funerals pyres and cities running out of space to bury or cremate the dead.

While the country’s daily caseload does appear to have fallen, it’s too early to say if infections are slowing down.

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