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Asia Minute: India’s Dangerous Coronavirus Spike


Tracing outbreaks of the coronavirus is still chasing a moving target. As case numbers decline in certain areas, they are rising elsewhere---including India.

India is going through a dangerous spike in COVID-19 cases—and deaths.

Just last week India surpassed Brazil as the country with the second highest number of COVID cases in the world—now trailing only the United States.

More than 1,600 people in India died from the virus from Sunday into Monday—while new case numbers there have been higher than 200,000 a day for nearly a week.

That’s about three times the new case numbers of the United States.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson just cancelled a trip to India scheduled for next week, while the United Kingdom has put India on its “red list” of countries—banning entry to most people coming from there.

New Delhi tried a curfew over the weekend, but by Monday night local time it had moved into lockdown for a week.

Restaurants are closed except for takeout food—stores, gyms, public parks are shut—and all social, political and religious gatherings are banned.

New Delhi’s Chief Minister told reporters Monday the city has nearly run out of intensive care unit beds at hospitals and that oxygen is in short supply.

India’s central government just announced it’s expanding vaccination eligibility at the end of next week--to reach every citizen over the age of 18.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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