The global COVID19 pandemic has taken a toll on one country more than any other, India has become a coaronavirus hotspot with a record number of cases along with the highest global number of daily COVID19 cases.
India reported more than 314,000 new cases on Thursday, it's highest one-day total ever and on Friday, it set another global record in daily infections for a second straight day, with 332,730 cases reported in just 24 hours.
With the pandemic wreaking havoc on the South Asian nation doctors are struggling to cope as oxygen supplies dwindle and there is a major shortage of hospital beds.
The situation has gotten so dire that not only are Indian doctors begging for oxygen but the hospitals are filling up with COVID19 positive patients so fast that people have been dying on the pavement outside a well known hospital in the capital Delhi.
Canada has suspended incoming passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days as cases of COVID-19 surge in both countries.
Health Canada data shows 112 flights landing in Canada since April 7 have carried at least one passenger who tested COVID19 positive. Also 32 flights from Delhi and 2 flights from Lahore in the last two weeks carried dozens of passengers who later tested positive for COVID-19.
The spike in the rising number of cases is due to a variant being described as a double mutant.
The variant — named B.1.617 — has so far been classified as a "variant of interest" by the World Health Organization, rather than a "variant of concern," the term attached to the variants first detected in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa.
The variant first detected in India has a double mutation on the spike protein gene, which our current COVID-19 vaccines target. But experts say there's no evidence right now that the approved vaccines won't work against it.
Experts add having two mutations on the spike protein doesn't necessarily mean the variant is more dangerous than one that has a single mutation on that gene.
The country's Supreme Court has called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a "national plan" on the supply of oxygen and essential drugs for the treatment of coronavirus patients.
Earlier today, met leading oxygen manufacturers of our country and discussed the efforts to scale up oxygen supply in the wake of the prevailing COVID-19 situation. https://t.co/ioYGRza8fp— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 23, 2021
India, Pakistan, and Brazil are 3 of the world's hotspots with other countries keeping their eyes on those nations.
Photo courtesy of Canadian Press.