- Title: Coronavirus cases in India cross 500,000 as big cities reel from surge
- Date: 27th June 2020
- Summary: NEW DELHI, INDIA (JUNE 27, 2020) (ANI VIA SKYPE - NO USE INDIA) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR, ALL INDIA INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, DR. RANDEEP GULERIA, SAYING: "Number of cases per million population continues to be low and secondly, which I think is the most important thing is the mortality. We still continue to have low mortality. Considering the size of our population, the number of cases will be largeâ€¦.many countries combine to make the population of India, so we are a very populous country and therefore, in absolute numbers, we will have a large number of cases. But if we are able to keep the mortality down, then that will be a big success as far as India is concerned."
- Embargoed: 11th July 2020 10:40
- Keywords: COVID-19 Health India New Delhi beds cases coronavirus hospitals isolation patients
- Location: NEW DELHI, INDIA
- City: NEW DELHI, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002CK5A6HB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
India reported over 17,000 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, pushing the country's total above 500,000, federal health ministry data showed on Saturday (June 27), with infections surging in major cities including the capital New Delhi.
India has the world's the fourth-biggest outbreak of the virus that causes COVID-19, below only the United States, Brazil and Russia in confirmed infections, according to a Reuters tally.
Delhi is among the worst-hit cities in the country with more than 40,000 detected in the last two weeks.
"We were expecting that the cases of coronavirus would increase. But the cases increased more than what we expected and in the first week of June we witnessed a shortage of beds (in hospitals), we were lagging behind in testing in Delhi. And because of a shortage of beds, when some people were not getting beds, the death rate also increased," said Delhi Chief, Arvind Kejriwal.
Infections are expected to continue rising steadily in India. Experts advising the federal government say the authorities should now prioritize reducing mortality over containing the spread of the virus.
The COV-IND-19 study group, led by Bhramar Mukherjee, a biostatistics professor from the University of Michigan, forecasts that India could see between 770,000 and 925,000 cases by July 15.
As infections mount swiftly and hospitals become stretched, some cities like New Delhi are scrambling to build temporary facilities with thousands of beds to quarantine and treat COVID-19 patients.
The city of around 20 million people only has around 13,200 beds for COVID-19 patients and will add at least 20,000 in coming weeks, with some facilities manned by army and paramilitary doctors.
Staff shortages are likely to be a concern as hospitals are swamped and more temporary facilities open, experts warn although health authorities in some Indian cities are pushing for the improved risk-based categorisation of patients.
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