India's Medical System Is Under A Strain As COVID-19 Infection Rises

India's Medical System Is Under A Strain As COVID-19 Infection Rises

May 14, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

The pace of coronavirus infections in India shows no signs of slowing. New cases nationwide topped 362,000 on Thursday, with more than 4,100 confirmed deaths for a second straight day.

The surge is pressuring the country's medical system to the point of collapse.

Local media are reporting daily on the chaotic situation, in which many patients have died in hospitals or even in ambulances due to a lack of beds and oxygen supplies.

Aid supplies such as medical oxygen started arriving in the capital New Delhi in the predawn hours Thursday from countries including Indonesia and Germany.

A lockdown has been in place in most Indian states as infections spread from cities to the countryside, where medical systems are more vulnerable. The outlook remains uncertain, although some professionals expect the infections to peak as early as this month.

NHK has learned that Japan will open a free testing site for its nationals near New Delhi as early as next week.

The move comes as the country now requires all arrivals to submit a confirmed negative COVID-19 test.

Japan's border controls will be tightened further on Friday, banning the entry of foreigners who have visited India, Pakistan or Nepal during the past two weeks.

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