About 1 in 3 people tested for COVID-19 in the Indian capital of New Delhi recently returned a positive result, according to the city’s chief minister Sunday.
People in Delhi have turned to social media to complain about the lack of oxygen canisters and the shortages of hospital beds and drugs.
“The bigger worry is that in last 24 hours positivity rate has increased to around 30% from 24%,” chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told a news briefing.
“The cases are rising very rapidly. The beds are filling fast,” he said.
India’s infection numbers have been rising, and Saturday’s 261,394 new cases set a record, as did the country’s seven-day average of nearly 1,430,000 new cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. With 14.8 million people with the infection, India is second to the U.S. with 31.6 million infected.
Just more than 1% of India’s population has been vaccinated, Johns Hopkins says.
On Sunday, Iran reported its highest daily death toll from the coronavirus in months, as hospitals in the capital and elsewhere were filling to capacity.
The health ministry reported 405 deaths from the virus and confirmed more than 21,000 infections Sunday. The country’s highest single-day death toll was 480 last November.
Iran has battled one of the worst outbreaks in the region but has said it cannot sustain long lockdowns to quell the virus for fear of too much economic damage.
Iran’s vaccination campaign has been slow, dependent on a range of domestically made vaccines. About one-tenth of 1% of its population has been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins.
Meanwhile Sunday, Israel lifted the requirement that masks be worn outdoors. Nearly 56% of its population is fully vaccinated against the virus, according to Johns Hopkins.
The mask mandate remains in place, however, for enclosed spaces.
The United States reported Sunday that just over half of its adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The United States halted use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine while it investigates rare incidents of blood clots, but Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said he expects use of the shot to resume within a week.
“I doubt very seriously if they just cancel it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Fauci, former President Barack Obama and a number of American celebrities are expected to appear Sunday night on “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” a nationally televised special aimed at decreasing vaccine hesitancy in the United States.
Beginning April 24, France will require all travelers from Brazil, as well as Argentina, Chile and South Africa, to quarantine for 10 days over concerns about variants in the coronavirus in those regions, the government announced Saturday. Police will check on them to ensure compliance.
Brazil had 13.9 million COVID cases as of Sunday night, according to Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. and India have more cases. Flights from Brazil into France will remain suspended until the new rules take effect.
More than 371,000 people have died in Brazil from COVID, Johns Hopkins reported. The U.S. is the only country that has more COVID deaths, at more than 567,000.