India’s COVID death toll exceeds 400,000-half died in the second wave | Coronavirus pandemic news
India has reached the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths due to the coronavirus, half of which have overwhelmed the health care system and crematorium in the second wave of the epidemic in the past few months.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, India has recorded 30.45 million cases, making it the second most affected country after the United States, which has 33 million cases.
At least 604,000 people have died in the United States, and approximately 518,000 people have died in Brazil.
According to data released by the Ministry of Health on Friday, India is the second most populous country in the world, with 853 deaths in the past 24 hours. According to Reuters statistics, this makes it exceed the 400,000 mark, and the last 100,000 have increased in just 39 days.
However, health experts believe that India may seriously underestimate the number of deaths, and the actual number may reach one million or more.
In May, at the peak of the second wave, people struggled to keep up with the pace of death and cremation, and dozens of bodies washed up on the Ganges in northern India.
“Underestimation of death toll has occurred in every state, mainly because the system is lagging, so this means we will never really understand how many people we lost in the second wave,” said Riccio M. John, a professor at American University. Rajagiri College of Social Sciences in the southern city of Kochi.
Last month, Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, revised its total number of deaths from COVID-19 from 5,424 to 9,429 after the local court issued an order.
As of the end of April, there were 200,000 deaths in India, but it took only 28 days to reach 300,000.
During the second wave of epidemics in April and May, the hospital ran out of beds and life-saving oxygen, and people died in the parking lot and at home outside the hospital.
Since its peak in May, the number of cases has been steadily declining, but government officials and experts have warned that with the country’s slow reopening and a new variant called Delta Plus locally, the third wave is coming.
“Black fungus” takes away some of the eyesight
The family of Saheb Rao Shinde believes that when the 65-year-old recovered from COVID-19 at his home in western India last month, the worst had passed. But a few weeks later, one eye of the income stamp duty supplier went blind.
During the disastrous second wave of COVID-19, thousands of people infected with the virus also suffered from a rare fungal disease called Mucormycosis, or “black fungus”.
To date, India has reported more than 40,845 cases of mucormycosis.
Many people like Shinde may never recover their vision after contracting fungal diseases, which can cause the nose to turn black or discolored, blurred or double vision, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and coughing up blood.
“Father is healthy and doesn’t want to eat anymore…” said the daughter, who asked not to be named. “His tooth was also pulled out, very sad.”
His daughter told Reuters in Mumbai that Sind is from Malaswada, Maharashtra, a dry region in western India, and he will return to work after he recovers.
Adesh Kumar, a 39-year-old farmer in northern Uttar Pradesh, is blind in his left eye. He had to borrow money to buy medicine, using some of his land as collateral.
India ordered stricter surveillance for mucormycosis in May because it poses challenges for COVID-19 patients, especially those receiving steroid therapy and diabetes.
Experts say that excessive use of certain drugs that suppress the immune system may cause a surge in fungal infections.
Charuta Mandke, Department of Ophthalmology, RN Cooper City General Hospital in Mumbai, said: “We have seen many cases of mucormycosis after COVID because it is well known that COVID itself reduces immunity.”