India’s COVID surge likely driven by ‘far more lethal’ variant: doctor

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The skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases in India is likely driven by a “far more infectious and probably far more deadly” variant — and is driving hospitals to “beyond [a] crisis point,” a top physician warned Tuesday.

Dr. Zarir Udwadia, who works in Mumbai hospitals and consults for the government, said he has seen “ward after ward full of patients struggling to breathe on ventilators of different forms and shapes.”

“It is really clear to me as it is to any physician, that this wave, perhaps variant-driven, is far more infectious and probably far more lethal than the first wave,” he told the BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program.

As hospitals become overwhelmed with patients, Udwadia warned that the situation is “beyond crisis point.”

The surging cases have left hospitals experiencing shortages of supplies, including oxygen, as patients wait in line to seek treatment.

“‘This virus has a country of 1.4 billion firmly in its stranglehold and it’s really exposed our threadbare health care system and our failure of leadership,” Udwadia said.

Second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in India .Covid-19 crisis in New Delhi, India - 27 Apr 2021Covid-19 crisis in New Delhi

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