The cumulative number of coronavirus cases in India approached 20 million on Monday, as hospitals continued to send out distress calls for emergency oxygen supplies and a major vaccine manufacturer said the country could face a vaccine crisis in the next two to three months.
The Indian variant is considered to be particularly contagious, and there was alarm in Belgium after a person from the Saint-Josse neighbourhood of Brussels tested positive for the variant, but was then unable to be located by contact tracing authorities.
Authorities finally located that man, who had quarantined and since recovered from the infection, according to HLN.
It isn’t yet known how the man contracted the Indian variant, as his wife and child were infected with the British one. Contact tracers are looking into where it could have originated, and whether it is possible for the British variant to mutate into the Indian one.
India has been struggling with a second wave of the coronavirus.
In the past 24 hours, the country has recorded 368,147 new infections, bringing the number of people infected so far to 19.93 million, according to government data. With a population of 1.3 billion people, India has recorded more than 300,000 cases every day for more than 10 days.
The overall death toll has reached 218,959, with 3,417 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours. This means that India has overtaken Mexico to become the third country after the US and Brazil in terms of Covid-19-related deaths.
The shortage of medical oxygen has also worsened. Twenty-eight patients died overnight allegedly due to lack of oxygen in hospitals in the states of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, NDTV reported.