Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called a cabinet meeting today amid a huge surge in Covid in the national capital that crossed an unprecedented 24,000 new cases over 24 hours on Saturday evening. Health minister Satyendar Jain will be at the meeting along with other ministers.
Yesterday, the Delhi government had flagged a shortage in oxygen and the hugely essential drug Remdesivir administered to patients. The government is desperately trying to scale up the number of available hospital beds.
Mr Kejriwal had said the situation is “very serious and worrisome”.
“Cases have gone up really fast. That is why we are facing shortages even though everything seemed under control until a few days ago. But the speed at which this corona is growing, no one knows where its peak will be,” he had added.
Over the weekend, Delhi joined Mumbai and several other cities in shutting down all but essential services. Earlier this week, night curfew was announced in Delhi but these measures have failed to stem the tide, with the number of fresh cases mounting every passing day.
For the last four days, the country has been logging 2 lakh-plus fresh cases of Covid daily — having now three times the daily cases of the United States, the world’s worst-hit nation.
In the last 24 hours, India logged an unprecedented 2,61,500 infections — taking the caseload to 1.47 crore — and 1,501 deaths.
The top five states bearing the brunt of the disease are Maharashtra, which logged 67,123 fresh cases over 24 hours, Uttar Pradesh with 27,734, Delhi 24,375, Karnataka 17,489, and Chhattisgarh 16,083.
People are having to pay exorbitant black market rates for oxygen and widely prescribed medicines such as Remdesivir and Fabiflu, with hospitals across the country running desperately short.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level review meet to review the Covid situation.
“PM Modi spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines,” said a government statement.