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MUMBAI – India confirmed a record rise in COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as the world’s largest vaccine maker said it was “very stressful” and needed the Indian government’s help to increase production.
India is trying to accelerate vaccination amid a sharp spike in coronavirus infection since the pandemic began. Authorities are also trying to balance tighter controls on the move while ensuring fair voting in five regions with state-level elections throughout the month.
Despite a massive ban on rallies in other parts of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared in person at a series of political rallies on Tuesday in West Bengal, one of the jurisdictions that Vote this month, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party hopes to advance in West Bengal, one of the last bastions of the opposition rule.
India has already vaccinated nearly 90 million doses, but that’s still less than 6% of the nearly 1.4 billion people. Modi received the first coronavirus vaccine on March 1.
In an interview with local TV, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said late Tuesday that the vaccine was produced. His company’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, the most commonly used vaccine in India. “It’s very stressful to be honest.”
“We are prioritizing India’s needs. But we still can’t provide it for all Indians, ”Poonawalla said.
He said he planned to borrow from the bank if the Indian government did not respond to his request of about $ 400 million to meet the requirements.
After millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines have been able to be exported, India in recent weeks has shifted some shipments for domestic use, others complained of delayed orders for their vaccines from India.
On Wednesday, the health ministry confirmed 115,736 new cases and 630 deaths, India’s highest death toll since November.
About half of the new cases are in the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is the state capital. The hospital has insufficient oxygen and medication beds. Apartment complexes where residents tested positively are sealed and maintained by the police.
Mumbai and the capital city of Delhi are both still under the night curfew. The New Delhi High Court said Wednesday the mask was compulsory, even if the person was driving alone in his own vehicle. Rallies were banned and authorities shut down Mumbai’s beaches and other areas where people might gather.
But restaurants, shops or even cinemas are still open in most of India. Officials have strictly suspended announcing the nationwide blockade. Last spring, India’s economy shrank nearly 24 percent under nationwide restrictions and there have been instances of starvation among the poor.
Maharashtra and New Delhi’s chief ministers have asked Modi’s government to increase the age requirement and speed up vaccination for adults of all ages. But the central government has refused until now. Only people aged 45 and over and certain types of Vanguard practitioners remain eligible.