Amid critical shortages of hospital beds and oxygen, the warnings came as India reported 3,780 new pandemic deaths, a new daily record and 382,000 new cases. Experts say the peak may not be reached for weeks.
New figures on Thursday showed India confirmed new national record deaths, with 3,980 people lost in 24 hours. The number of recorded cases was also a record for the country, at 412,262.
According to the International Red Cross, India is under the brunt of a coronavirus crisis that is hitting hard across South Asia, AFP reports.
K. Vijay Raghavan, senior science adviser to the Indian government, said the country of 1.3 billion people must be prepared to face more problems even after beating the wave that has brought the number of cases in India to over 20 million infections.
“Phase 3 is inevitable given the high levels of virus circulating. But it is not known at what timescale this phase 3 will take place. We have to prepare for new waves, ”Raghavan said at a press conference.
As the government faces criticism as patients die on the streets outside hospitals due to lack of beds, shipments of oxygen and equipment have arrived from the United States, France, Britain, Russia and other countries in recent days.
And India will need more oxygen from other countries to fight the outbreak until the numbers stabilize, another government official said.
“We do not and do not have enough oxygen,” the senior government official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If we could get more oxygen, more lives would be saved.”