India sets new COVID-19 record, WHO warns of threat to globe
The weekly average number of COVID-19 infections in India has hit a new record, as World Health Organization (WHO) authorities warn that the country’s variant of the virus poses a global threat.
According to reports, the seven-day average of the new cases of the disease in India hit the record 390,995 — the world’s highest record — on Tuesday.
According to the Indian Health Ministry, the country’s daily coronavirus cases rose by 329,942, accounting for one in every three deaths reported worldwide each day.
India’s total coronavirus infections stand at 22.99 million, while total fatalities rose to 249,992.
The WHO has declared that the Indian variant of the virus spreads more easily, based on preliminary studies.
“We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s lead technical expert on COVID-19, told a briefing in Geneva on Monday, adding that, “There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility.”
The epidemic is surging in India, and many hospitals around the country are struggling with a shortage of life-saving equipment, although nations around the world have sent oxygen cylinders and other medical supplies to help India deal with the crisis.
According to a government official, due to a delay in the arrival of a tanker carrying oxygen on Monday, eleven people died in a hospital in Tirupati, a city in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Indian hospitals have reported a rise in cases of the rare but potentially fatal infection that leads to blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing of blood.
Accordingly, the Indian government has told doctors to look out for signs of mucormycosis, or “black fungus,” in COVID-19 patients, to find out about the source of the disease.
Cow dung and urine
Some people have been going to cow shelters in the state of Gujarat in western India once a week to cover their bodies in cow dung and urine, believing it will boost their immunity against the coronavirus.
“There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief,” said Dr. J.A. Jayalal, national president at the Indian Medical Association.
The second wave of the pandemic in India has sparked calls for a national lockdown and prompted an increasing number of states to introduce tighter restrictions, affecting businesses and the economy as a whole.