MOff the morning news for a while, here’s a quick update from India – where the dire situation is only getting worse.
Coronavirus deaths have risen by more than 4,000 for a second day in a row – bringing the official death toll to 242,362 (although research suggests this is a massive underestimate) – and calls for a lockdown nationwide to curb the spread of the rise of the virus.
Many Indian states have imposed strict lockdowns over the past month to stem the spike in infections, while others have announced restrictions on public movement and closed cinemas, restaurants, pubs and shopping malls.
And today, India’s national capital, New Delhi, and the northern state of Uttar Pradesh extended their lockdown and curfew rules until May 17.
But pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a national lockdown similar to the one imposed in the first wave last year.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the umbrella body for all conventional physicians and surgeons, has called for a “comprehensive, well-planned and pre-announced” nationwide lockdown instead of “sporadic” nighttime curfews and restrictions imposed by states for a few days at a time.
“The IMA is amazed to see the extreme lethargy and inappropriate actions of the Ministry of Health in the fight against the agonizing crisis born from the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said yesterday in a press release.