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UDATE – India’s COVID-19 situation ‘stabilizing’, government says

With more than 326,000 new cases of coronavirus reported in India on Saturday, the Health Ministry said that the second wave in the country is “stabilizing”.

“…overall, the situation is stabilizing and we will work towards ensuring further stabilization and a rapid decline of this pandemic. In this wave, at a stage, we had 40 lakh (4 million) active cases and right now it is around 36-37 lakhs,” Dr. Vinod Paul said at a press briefing.

Paul is a member of the National Institute for Transforming India Aayog, the government’s main policy think-tank, and the co-chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19.

India has reported less than 400,000 daily infections for the past few days. Total cases are currently at 24.37 million while the death toll stands at 266,207 with 3,890 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

During the Health Ministry’s briefing , doctors said that Mucormycosis, a deadly fungal infection, has seen a significant increase.

“There were very few cases of this infection before coronavirus … now due to COVID-19 and its treatment, we are seeing more cases now,” said Randeep Guleria, director of New Delhi-based hospital All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

He said there are almost 23 coronavirus cases with fungal infection in the hospital. “In some states, the number is more than 400- 500,” he added.

According to the doctors, Mucormycosis is fatal for people who have weak immune systems and also causes loss of eyesight, removal of the nose and jaw bone.

Earlier in the day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on coronavirus and vaccination-related situation.

“(The prime minister) directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the central government should be carried out,” a statement issued by the premier’s office said.

While the hardest-hit national capital of New Delhi is seeing fewer cases, many rural areas are now experiencing a spike.

Many cities and states are currently under a lockdown.

Amid a large number of cases, more countries continue to send aid to country battered by coronavirus.

Early Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs said aid from Kazakhstan arrived in India.

The densely populated country is reeling under a deadly second COVID-19 wave with the healthcare system in many states facing issues of oxygen supply at hospitals.

Dozens of bodies have recently been found floating in the Ganges river in India’s Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states.

Source: Anadolu Agency