India COVID cases near 20 million, UK to send more aid: Live news

a group of people sitting at a picnic table: Men wearing PPE kits perform the last rites of a deceased relative in a disused granite quarry repurposed to cremate the COVID-19 dead in Bengaluru [Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images] © Men wearing PPE kits perform the last rites of a deceased relative in a disused granite quarry repur... Men wearing PPE kits perform the last rites of a deceased relative in a disused granite quarry repurposed to cremate the COVID-19 dead in Bengaluru [Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images]

With more than 300,000 daily cases reported for nearly two weeks now, India is battling a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus that has overwhelmed its fragile and under-funded healthcare system.

Hospitals have filled to capacity, medical oxygen supplies have run short, and morgues and crematoriums have been swamped.

The eastern state of Odisha and northern industrial state Haryana became the latest to announce new lockdowns, joining Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal.

Here are the latest updates:

5 mins ago (04:15 GMT)

India reports 368,147 new COVID infections

India has reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million, while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 3,417.

With 368,147 new cases over the past 24 hours, India’s total coronavirus infections now stand at 19.93 million, while its total fatalities are now at 218,959, according to health ministry data.

10 mins ago (04:10 GMT)

UK to send 1,000 more ventilators to India

Britain is rushing to dispatch a further 1,000 ventilators to India to help its struggling healthcare system deal with a surge in coronavirus infections which is killing thousands every day.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised “the UK will always be there for India” as he committed fresh assistance, including advice from NHS staff and health experts Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance.

Johnson made the pledge ahead of a call with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Tuesday, arranged to replace a visit to New Delhi which was cancelled as cases spiralled.

The 1,000 ventilators from the UK’s surplus supply are in addition to 200 sent last week, in shipments that also included nearly 500 oxygen

concentrators.

10 mins ago (04:10 GMT)

India industry body urges curbs to economic activity

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a leading Indian industry body, has urged authorities to take the “strongest national steps” and to curtail economic activity to save lives as the country battles surging coronavirus cases.

Billionaire Uday Kotak, managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank and CII president, said a “maximal response measure at the highest level is called for to cut the transmission links”, as building healthcare infrastructure will take time.

“At this critical juncture when toll of lives is rising, CII urges the strongest national steps including curtailing economic activity to reduce suffering,” Kotak said in a statement.

Concerned about the economic impact of shutting down the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown. At least 11 states and federal territories have imposed some form of restrictions.

The Indian Express newspaper reported on Sunday that the country’s COVID-19 taskforce has advised the federal government to impose a national lockdown.

India COVID cases near 20 million, UK to send more aid: Live news