Indian state of Maharashtra struggles with new coronavirus wave


(dpa) – Several regions in India’s Maharashtra state were seeing a shortfall of intensive care (ICU) beds and oxygen cylinders for Covid-19 patients on Thursday as the state continued to see the worst impact of a fresh wave of the pandemic.

More than 120,000 new cases were reported countrywide during the past 24 hours, according to federal government data. Of those, 59,907 were in Maharashtra.

More than 60 per cent of ICU beds earmarked for Covid-19 patients in the state were occupied. Additionally, 34 per cent of non-ICU beds attached to ventilators are in use, state health department official Pradeep Vyas said.

In some districts, like Nagpur, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Latur and Yavatmal, more than 90 per cent of beds were occupied, the Times Now news channel reported.

The requirement for oxygen across the state was almost equal to what was produced, Vyas said. The federal government had been asked to arrange for supplies from other states.

Maharashtra was the epicentre of the pandemic in the first wave and is in the same position for the second, which is spreading at a much faster rate.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Wednesday that people have to follow appropriate behaviour to contain the virus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of the chief ministers of regional governments to discuss measures to control the crisis.

With 12.9 million cases, India has the world’s third-largest coronavirus caseload, after the United States and Brazil. The daily spike has been the steepest this week. India has seen a total of 166,862 deaths.

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