Wednesday 10/28/20

India surpasses Britain and becomes 4th nation hardest hit by Covid-19

Supreme Court judges asked the federal government to respond to the reports of mishandling of patients and dead bodies.

10 June 2020, India, New Delhi: Medical workers and relatives wearing personal protective equipment gear buried a person who died of coronavirus (Covid-19) at the Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam graveyard. Photo: Vijay Pandey/ZUMA Wire/dpa
Burial of a person who died of coronavirus at the Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam graveyard. Photo: Vijay Pandey/ZUMA Wire/dpa.

India's Covid-19 case count has overtaken that of Britain, making it the country fourth-worst-affected by the new coronavirus, according to Health Ministry data released on Friday.

According to the figures, India has now suffered 295,772 infections.

India, which is in the process of opening up after a prolonged lockdown, has seen exponential growth in infections during the past week. It logged a record 9,996 new infections on Thursday.

A country with a population of 1.3 billion, India has, however, had a relatively lower death rate, with 8,498 reported so far by the government.

India's case load now lags only the United States - which has more than 2 million cases - and those of Brazil and Russia.

Health experts have predicted that the number of cases in India would rise sharply during the next couple of months as the country opens its offices, businesses, religious sites and shopping centres.

The cases are now largely concentrated in cities, but the large-scale reverse migration of workers to rural areas has raised concern of its spreading in these areas, which have poor health care infrastructure.

Worst-affected cities

Mumbai and New Delhi are amongst the worst-affected cities and media reports have indicated a shortage of hospital beds, equipment and improper treatment of the dead.

On Friday, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court pro-actively took notice of the media reports and said these "indicated a sorry state of affairs for Covid patients in Delhi and some other states," according to legal reporting website Live Law.

The court asked five state governments to take note of the treatment of patients and disposal of bodies in state-run hospitals and submit reports by June 17.

The court also asked the federal government to respond to the reports of mishandling of patients and dead bodies.

"Please see the deplorable conditions of people in hospitals, dead bodies are lying in the ward, dead bodies are found in the garbage! Media has highlighted these deplorable conditions. Worse than animals people are being treated," the bench was quoted as saying.

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