India is rapidly setting up more COVID-19 isolation centres as the country battles a dire second wave of infections that has left hospitals and morgues overflowing.
Daily infections rose by 382,315 on Wednesday (May 5), health ministry data showed. The number has been in excess of 300,000 every day for the past two weeks.
India’s coronavirus deaths rose by a record 3,780 during the last 24 hours, a day after the country became the world’s second, after the United States, to cross the grim milestone of 20 million infections.
Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen.
Makeshift arrangements are turning out to be a blessing for patients in India’s low-funded medical infrastructure, although some families scramble for increasingly scarce medicines and oxygen.
A Sikh temple in the Indian capital New Delhi was converted into a COVID-19 care facility with oxygen supplies.
Authorities in northern Srinagar city were preparing to open an isolation facility with 250 beds, which includes an ICU ward.
The state government of Uttar Pradesh constructed a COVID-19 hospital that can accommodate 750 patients at its prestigious Banaras Hindu University campus.
In northeastern Guwahati city, authorities converted Indian railways train coaches into isolation facility to accommodate the patients who are unable to find space in the overwhelmed hospitals.
Medical experts say India’s actual figures could be five to 10 times the official tallies. The country has added 10 million cases in just over four months, after taking more than 10 months to reach its first 10 million.
(Production: Marissa Davison, Liliana Ciobanu)