India’s Daily COVID-19 Cases Pass 400,000 as Second Wave Worsens

May 1, 2021 Updated: May 2, 2021

NEW DELHI—India’s rampant second wave of COVID-19 topped 400,000 new daily cases for the first time on Saturday.

Authorities reported 401,993 new cases in the previous 24 hours, its highest daily count, after 10 consecutive days over 300,000. Deaths from COVID-19 jumped by 3,523, taking the total toll in India to 211,853, according to federal health ministry data.

India’s West Bengal state was unable to start a vaccination drive for adults aged between 18 and 45 on Saturday due to a shortage of shots and urged the federal government to provide more supplies, a senior state health official said, declining to be named as he was not authorized to speak with media.

The chief minister of the hard-hit state of Delhi on Friday implored people not to queue at vaccination centers, promising more vaccines would arrive “tomorrow or the day after.”

India’s eastern Odisha state said on Friday it had received a consignment of 150,000 shots but would only allow a few people to get shots due to lockdown restrictions preventing movement.

Delhi Still Gasping

Desperate COVID-19 patients, meanwhile, continued to arrive at hospitals on Saturday despite a shortage of beds.

Gasping for air, 62-year-old Vijay Gupta was turned away by Holy Family hospital, a non-profit private facility in the southeast of India’s capital as all of its 385 beds were full.

Waiting outside the hospital his family and friends debated what to do try next.

Epoch Times Photo
People with breathing problems receive oxygen support for free outside a Gurudwara (Sikh temple), amidst the spread of COVID-19 in Ghaziabad, India, April 30, 2021. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

“We have been roaming around since 6 a.m. looking for a bed,” said Gupta’s friend Rajkumar Khandelwal. “Where shall we go?”

A fire in a hospital about 115 miles south of Ahmedabad killed 16 patients being treated for COVID-19 and two staff, the latest in a series of deadly accidents at hospitals.

Modi offered his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter, hours after he posted pictures of himself praying at a Sikh temple in the capital New Delhi.

Travel Restrictions

The surge in cases led U.S. President Joe Biden to impose new travel restrictions on India on Friday, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States.

Australian officials said residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday, and those who disobey will face fines and jail.

Other countries and territories have also imposed travel restrictions on India, including Britain, Germany, Italy, and Singapore, while Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand have suspended all commercial travel with India.

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Alasdair Pal

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.