Persistent threat from Corona virus remains as India, Canada and Brazil struggle with the surge in cases

New Delhi, May 2 2021: With a record breaking 400,000 new corona cases reported in India in one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, more international aid arrived in the South Asian nation to help end the crisis.

India expanded its vaccination programme to all adults on Saturday, but many of its states are struggling with shortages despite an export freeze for shots produced in the country. Long queues were seen at vaccination centres in cities across India on the weekend, with people desperate to be inoculated against a disease that has overwhelmed the country’s healthcare system and even crematoriums and graveyards.

Citizens have leveraged social media platforms to spread pleas for help internationally as people looking for oxygen cylinders, medicines and hospital beds face widespread shortages. On Sunday, the nation of over 1 billion, reported more than 392,000 new cases and nearly 3,700 Covid-19 deaths.

Various countries such as the United States, Russia and Britain have responded by dispatching emergency medical supplies including oxygen generators, face masks, and vaccines. Aid from France reached India on Sunday, including eight oxygen generator plants and 28 ventilators, adding to the 120 ventilators from Germany that arrived on Saturday.

One of the hardest hit parts of the country, capital New Delhi, extended its lockdown by a week on Saturday. Anthony Fauci, the top US pandemic advisor, said that India should go into lockdown to fight this wave. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has resisted imposing a national shutdown but many states have imposed heavy restrictions.

Surges in corona virus cases in Brazil and Canada also highlighted the persistent threat of the pandemic, with the Covid-19 global death toll approaching 3.2 million even as many nations ramp up their vaccination drives.

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