NEW DELHI — A top expert is warning that the coming weeks in India will be “horrible,” as COVID-19 infections and deaths mount with alarming speed and there is no end in sight to the crisis.
The country of nearly 1.4 billion has witnessed scenes of people dying outside of overwhelmed hospitals and funeral pyres lighting up the night sky.
India’s official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million, nearly doubling in the past three months, while deaths officially exceed 220,000. But the true figures are believed to be far higher, the undercount an apparent symptom of the troubles in the health care system.
The country is currently in the midst of a frightening surge of the virus — nearly two straight weeks of at least 300,000 cases each day, according to Johns Hopkins University. From between April 1 through Monday, the average of newly confirmed cases per day has soared from over 65,000 to about 370,000.
For about a week, the country has seen more than 3,000 people die of the virus each day — a figure that will likely hold steady for several weeks, as increases in deaths typically lag behind increases in cases. At the beginning of April, India was seeing about 300 deaths a day.
The Associated Press reports that the country is currently facing a shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and COVID-19 tests.