Watch the State: COVID-19 India public archive

By Watch the State

3 May 2021

Artwork by Madpaule_diaries

Set up by The Polis Project, Watch the State (WTS) documents, analyzes and aims to understand state violence.

As part of our ongoing documentation work, we have been covering the COVID-19 crisis in India since March 2020. We regularly share and amplify information relating to state violence through our Twitter and Instagram handles. In April 2021, the #COVID19SecondWave broke out. The reports that continue to emerge suggest that there is gross government mismanagement, negligence and incompetence resulting in an unprecedented public health emergency.

The health infrastructure has completely crumbled, medicines and hospital beds are not sufficient to cover the growing demand and, worst of all, there is an acute shortage of oxygen supply in the country. COVID-19 vaccines are also scarcely available, despite the fact that India is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. Although the central government decided that everyone from 18 to 44 years of age can be vaccinated from 1 May 2021 onwards, there is a big disparity in prices between the central and state governments.

The COVID-19 testing facilities are overburdened and patients are dying outside hospitals while waiting for treatment. Hospitals in New Delhi are approaching the Courts to ask for uninterrupted oxygen supply. Internal migrant workers, who are afraid of another sudden lockdown are moving back to their villages and towns often without any government support in terms of rations or monetary aid. At the same time, senior leaders (including the Prime Minister and the Home Minister) held electoral rallies with huge crowds while the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu religious pilgrimage, took place in April with millions of devotees attending.

As people are increasingly unable to rely on the Government, Twitter and social media have become the COVID-19 helpline where helpless citizens ask for help and provide mutual support. The Uttar Pradesh state government has threatened action against hospitals and individuals who put up notices about the lack of oxygen, hospital beds and essential life-saving medicines during this emergency, and First Information Reports are being filed against those asking for medical help on Twitter. Similarly, Twitter and Facebook have been censoring content that is critical of the Indian Government and its COVID-19 management.

In order to maintain a lived memory of the present, WTS is collecting through various reliable news sources and sharing on social media these instances of state violence. On 22 and 29 April 2021, however, the Watch the State Twitter handle was temporarily restricted by Twitter. The account was restored a few hours later, but this incident made us acutely aware of the censorship measures that social media platforms take as a result of government orders.

Watch the State: COVID-19 India public archive is an ongoing effort to document and collate the state violence in relation to the COVID-19 crisis in India. We aim to archive reports on state violence to preserve public memory.

Artwork by d.e.e.m.u.k

Friday 30 April 2021 

Behind the pandemic’s devastation is a monumental failure of governanceIndian Express

By Suhas Palshikar

“As the distress reaches epochal proportions, it may force our attention on questions of human suffering and immediate relief. However, the monumental failure of governance cannot be hidden behind moments of grief or waves of self-pity. It will be nobody’s case that we as a society are blameless, nor that there were no structural constraints to the handling of the pandemic. But the history of this pandemic will have to clearly shout out the key failure — the failure of governance. Governance, despite much scholarship, continues to be an enigmatic term. The pandemic has brought forward in a stark manner, however, the opposite of governance: Misgovernance.”

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VIDEO: “Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh: “The Police is telling us to go sit under a peepul tree if we want oxygen.” “Why doesn’t the government sit there, get this oxygen and give it to us?””

By Dushyant

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BJP states hiding COVID-19 deaths are endangering India’s health responseArticle-14

By Kunal Purohit and Zafar Aafaq 

“As the health minister claims India’s COVID-19 death toll is among the world’s lowest, we found the count from crematoria in six cities—Patna, Kanpur, Jamnagar, Morbi, Rajkot and Porbandar—in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between three to 30 times higher than official death tolls.”

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She was 8 months pregnant, was ‘forced’ into UP poll duty that killed ‘135 teachers’ The Print

By Jyoti Yadav

Kalyani Agrahari, 27, an assistant teacher in the first month of her job, did not want to do the panchayat election duty on 15 April. She was eight months pregnant and it would not have been easy for her to sit at one place for so long. Fifteen days later, the teacher died in a Jaunpur hospital. Her death certificate said she was COVID-19 positive, according to her family.”

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COVID-19: India’s research community asks Modi for data on patterns and severity of infectionsTelegraph

By G.S. Mudur

“India’s research community on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release data on the patterns and severity of the COVID-19 infections amid concerns that the Centre had withheld information that could guide effective responses to the epidemic. A group of over 200 scientists and medical researchers, in an online appeal to Modi, cautioned that India’s inability to adequately manage the spread of the infection had resulted largely from its epidemiological data being either not systematically collected or denied to the scientific community.”

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VIDEO: “This is truly a terrifying and epic crisis,” says Clarissa Ward, as a deadly coronavirus outbreak ravages India. “It is just staggering, the amount of suffering. People are struggling to breathe. They are literally dying on the streets and there is just no end in sight.”

By Anderson Cooper

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Blog: My experience as an NDTV reporter, covering this second waveNDTV

By Sukirti Dwivedi 

“Covering India’s COVID-19 situation has been a struggle but all of us who are in this profession are aware of the nature of the job and this is why we try to balance our profession with the sensitivity of the situation at hand. No matter how many times I reported the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths during my live broadcasts, I was always aware that each number was someone’s parent, child or sibling. But what do you do when you know that this “someone” is now your friend or colleague? This is the question that keeps hitting me now.”

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How India’s vaccine drive crumbled and left a country in chaosNDTV 

By Bibhudatta Pradhan, Archana Chaudhary and Sudhi Ranjan Sen

“When India launched its COVID-19 vaccination drive in mid-January, the chances of success looked high: It could produce more shots than any country in the world and had decades of experience inoculating pregnant women and babies in rural areas. Just over three months later, that initial promise has evaporated and the government’s plans are in disarray. India has fully vaccinated less than 2 percent of its 1.3 billion-strong population, inoculation centers across the country say they’re running short of doses and exports have all but stopped. Rather than building protection, the South Asian nation is setting daily records for new infections as a second wave overwhelms hospitals and crematoriums.”

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“25 COVID-19 patients have died in Porbandar, Gujarat, in the last 2 days: Sandesh. Note: Gujarat government’s shows says no one has died of COVID-19 in Porbandar in the last 2 days.”

By Deepak Patel

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In India’s devastating coronavirus surge, anger at Modi growsWashington Post 

By Joanna Slater and Niha Masih

“As he surveyed the thousands of people gathered at an election rally in eastern India on 17 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared jubilant. “Everywhere I look, as far as I can see, there are crowds,” he said, his arms spread wide. “You have done an extraordinary thing.” At the time, India was recording more than 200,000 coronavirus cases a day. In the western state of Maharashtra, oxygen was running short, and people were dying at home because of a shortage of hospital beds. In Modi’s home state of Gujarat, crematoriums were being overwhelmed by the dead. Those scenes were just a prelude to the devastation now unfolding in India.” 

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Oxygen in Delhi: A personal storyScroll.in

By Supriya Sharma

“It is an unwritten rule in journalism that hard-hitting news investigations do not make for good Sunday reading. But 18 April was no regular Sunday. A ferocious tidal wave of coronavirus was crashing over India and breathless people were dying, unable to find a hospital bed or oxygen. My colleagues and I had spent a few days investigating India’s oxygen crisis. One of the startling facts we found was that it had taken the Narendra Modi government eight months after the pandemic began to invite bids for 162 oxygen generation plants. Most still weren’t up and running.”

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BBMP to open crematorium next to Mavallipura landfill, residents protest- The News Minute

By Pooja Prasanna

“Residents of Mavallipura village allege that the BBMP has no proper plan on how to dispose of the PPE kits, medical waste as well as ash from the cremations.”

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COVID-19: ‘No political bickering,’ Supreme Court says on cooperation between Centre and DelhiScroll.in

By Scroll Staff

“The Supreme Court urged the Delhi government to ensure cooperation with the Centre and refrain from indulging in politics while dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, reported NDTV. The court also lauded the work of government officials to tackle the pandemic.”

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“Dainik Bhaskar is reporting that in 19 districts in Madhya Pradesh they collected the data from crematoriums it reveals that in 15 days from 11 to 25 April 5484 bodies were cremated with COVID-19 protocol. While the state government data says 5484 COVID-19 deaths in 14 months from the beginning of the Pandemic in March 2010 till April 2021. This data is only from 19 big districts. So half of the state showed the number of cremations with COVID-19 protocol in 15 DAYS, which equals the number given in state government data FOR THE ENTIRE STATE FOR 15 MONTHS.” 

By Truth Hurts

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Don’t clampdown on citizens’ SOS calls for medical help through social media : Supreme Court warns of contempt action against states, Police- LiveLaw India

By Live Law News Network

“There should not be any coercive action against any citizen for putting out an SOS call on social media seeking medical help for COVID-19, said the Supreme Court. The Court strictly said that contempt action will be taken against police officers who clampdown on citizens who ventilate their grievances with respect to COVID-19 on public platforms.” 

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“State failed to protect right to life of citizens, we all have failed” Delhi High Court on the death of advocate’s relative who pleaded for ICU bed- Live Law India 

By Srishti Ojha 

“We only want to say that the state has failed in fulfilling its fundamental obligations of protecting the fundamental rights.” Remarked a division bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli on being informed during the course of hearing that a relative of a lawyer appearing before the Court had passed away.”

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Tourists and tulips bloomed in Kashmir. Then came COVID-19.The Kashmir Walla

By Gafira Qadir

“When the unprecedented wave of the coronavirus was grappling India, two weeks ago, tourists thronged Kashmir’s hotels and parks. While the administration flaunted the figures, the staffers at the Valley’s famed Ahdoo’s Hotel were complaining of breathlessness.”

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‘Death Is the Only Truth.’ Watching India’s Funeral Pyres Burn.The New York Times

By Aman Sethi

“Two months ago, India’s ruling party claimed that India had “defeated Covid under the able, sensible, committed and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.” In January, Mr. Modi told the World Economic Forum in Davos that India “has saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively.”

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Kin allege oxygen shortage led to death of two COVID-19 patientsThe Hindu

By Staff Reporter

“Kin of two COVID-19 patients who were undergoing treatment at a private hospital protested and charged that the deaths occurred due to shortage in supply of medical oxygen. However, the health department denied the charges and said that patients died due to ill-health conditions.”

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In photos: In a hospital in coronavirus-ravaged Delhi, ‘crisis is a mild word’Scroll.in

“Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui goes inside the emergency ward and intensive care unit of the capital’s Holy Family Hospital.”

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COVID-19 took my wifeThe Indian Express

By Subimal Bhattacharjee

“It started when Joyeeta and I had gone in for our first round of vaccination on April 4. The next day, we felt some fever and uneasiness but fever, as a side-effect of vaccination, had been well documented. Two days later, we learnt that one of my colleagues had been running a fever for almost four days and Joyeeta and I had encountered him in my office. We queued up for four hours at the hospital for an RT-PCR test for COVID-19. A day later, the reports were negative. Our comfort lasted for a very short time as our oximeter reading started plummeting. We knew something was not right and started immediate attempts at securing a hospital bed. But having tested negative for the virus, we were not eligible for a COVID-19 hospitalisation.”

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Video showing ABVP members inside COVID-19 ward of Dehradun hospital goes viralDeccan Herald

By Press Trust of India

“A video showing members of RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in PPE kits purportedly inside the COVID-19 ward of Doon Medical College Hospital and offering juice to patients has gone viral on social media.”

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Silence is no longer an option. It’s time for our conscience to wake up.The Wire

By Sudhansu Mohanty 

“We’ve seen it all, we’re seeing it more, and still more — every moment — the cries, the pains, the scrambling for oxygen, the frantic hunt for a hospital bed, the long queues even in the crematoriums under a blazing 42°C sun, and the incessant wait to perform the last rites. Not having served them when alive, the least the dead deserve is a dignified rite of exit.”

Thursday 29 April 2021 

At 1.11 per cent, India’s COVID-19 fatality rate lowest in the world, says Harsh Vardhan as toll crosses 0.2 million The Indian Express

By Indian Express

“Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Thursday claimed that India’s COVID-19 fatality rate is the “lowest in the world” at 1.11 per cent. The health minister’s statement comes as a record single-day rise of 3,79,257 COVID-19 infections and 3,645 fatalities on Thursday pushed India’s tally of cases to 1,83,76,524 and death toll to 2,04,832. Meanwhile, several Opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, have claimed that the truth about the pandemic is shrouded and deaths are being under-reported.”

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VIDEO: “Ahmedabad: In the newly inaugurated COVID-19 hospital by Amit Shah, kin of patients, out of desperation, try to push their autorickshaw through a police barricade.”

By Pratik Sinha 

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‘We are not special’: how triumphalism led India to COVID-19 disaster- The Guardian

By Michael Safi 

“They will be remembered as India’s lost months: the stretch between September and February when COVID-19 cases in the country defied global trends, falling sharply throughout the coldest months of the year until they reached four-figure daily totals. It was inexplicable. Was it the Indian climate? A protection conferred by childhood immunizations? Some speculated India may have naturally reached herd immunity. It was a tantalizing idea that took hold in India’s highest circles of policy making, media and science – even a government-commissioned study suggested herd immunity may indeed have been achieved. It would prove one of the most fatal miscalculations of the COVID-19 pandemic so far.”

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By Moushmi Das Gupta

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COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh: Taking root in small towns and villages– The India Forum

By S.Ananth 

“As in the rest of India, the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh has been devastating. A feature of the State post bifurcation in 2014 is that geographically it has three distinct regions (Rayalaseema, South Coastal Andhra and North Coastal Andhra) each with one large urban agglomeration (Triupati, Vijayawada-Guntur and Visakhapatnam respectively). COVID-19 has overwhelmed all the three regions with the government now forced to declare the whole city of Tirupati as a containment zone. It is a disaster that is now unfolding in the small towns and villages.”

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The Indian government is silencing critics even as its COVID-19 crisis surgesTime

By Billy Perrigo

“Chained to a hospital bed “like an animal” while suffering from COVID-19. Not allowed to visit the bathroom, and given a bottle in which to urinate instead. Unable to eat because of a fractured jaw. Those were the conditions that jailed Indian journalist Siddique Kappan described to his wife this weekend in a phone call from a hospital in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.”

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Opinion | Modi is guilty of mass negligent manslaughter in India- Haaretz

By Shrenik Rao

“Negligent manslaughter. That’s the only way to describe the Modi government’s abominable, grotesque mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. India has passed the grim milestone of 200,000 dead. Every day, more than 350,000 Indians are added to the 18 million COVID-19 cases already recorded. Every four minutes someone dies of COVID-19 in the nation’s capital, Delhi with infection rates spiking among younger people. Hospitals are overflowing: often, two COVID-19 patients share a bed.”

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Delhi RSS leader calls out state BJP: a fire raging, where are you?- Indian Express

By Abhinav Rajput 

“The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Delhi state executive member, Rajiv Tuli, has hit out at the Delhi BJP for their “virtual absence” in public during the current Covid surge that has wreaked havoc in the national capital. Taking to Twitter, he wrote in Hindi: “There is fire everywhere in Delhi, has any Dilli wala seen BJP Delhi?” “Where is BJP4Delhi? Or is the state body dissolved?” wrote Tuli, the former prant prachar pramukh of Delhi unit of the RSS. He did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment.”

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Delhi reports highest ever deaths due to COVID-19 on a single dayNDTV

By Sharad Sharma 

The national capital yet again reported its highest ever fatalities on a single day due to COVID-19. Government data shows 395 COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours in Delhi. The city reported 24,235 COVID-19 cases during the same period. The positivity rate or the chances of infection spreading is 33 per cent, and the active cases are at 97,977. The rising daily fatalities have put intense strain on crematoriums across the city. The Delhi Police has asked the municipal body to find more sites to be used as crematoriums amid.”

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Showing grisly visuals of COVID-19 disaster is media’s job, projecting ‘positivity’ isn’t Newslaundry

By Kalpana Sharma

“In India, in this nightmarish fortnight since mid-April, hundreds of people have been saying these very words, “I can’t breathe”, as they lie outside hospitals, on stretchers, on the ground, in ambulances, in cars, and as their relatives desperately seek beds with oxygen. Others have died en route or at home, unable to reach a hospital or any medical help in time. Even in our worst nightmares, none of us could have imagined that a year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit this country, we would be where we are today, a country that, as the Guardian put it, is “a living hell”.”

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Video of man begging cops for oxygen cylinder in Agra goes viralThe Quint

By The Quint

Amid the oxygen crisis in India, a video of a man in a PPE kit begging before cops and asking them to save his mother’s life, has come to capture the kind of situation the country is facing. The video from Agra, which has now gone viral, shows the man crying and falling on his knees as he tells some policemen, “Aapke charanon mein vinti karta hoon…Bhaiya meri ma ko bacha lo (I am at your feet, requesting you. Please save my mother).”

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Mother of man seen pleading for oxygen to not be taken away dies; cops say video ‘misleading’The Wire

By Ismat Ara

““My mother will die if you take away her oxygen cylinder.” The mother of a young man – seen in a viral video pleading with Uttar Pradesh police to not confiscate an oxygen cylinder that some men under their escort are seen carting towards a van – passed away hours after the video was shot.”

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COVID-19: Situation is ‘highly critical,’ facing vaccine shortage, says Kerala health minister KK Shailaja India Ahead News

By KA Shaji 

“This time, last year, Kerala was projected as a global model in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja received worldwide recognition for her efforts in containing the deadly virus that has so far claimed 5,211 lives in Kerala, 2,04,832 in India, as per the official record, and over 3 million globally. And yet, the Indian state with the most robust public health care system is struggling to beat  the second wave of the coronavirus.” 

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‘Does BJP exist?’ RSS functionary asks as COVID-19 crisis deepens in DelhiThe Wire

By The Wire 

As Delhi continues to choke with rapidly rising COVID-19 cases and the failure of the administration palpable to address the crisis, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sena (RSS) functionary came out in the open slamming the BJP for its “virtual absence” in the national capital to attend to the fast unfolding crisis, the Indian Express has reported.”

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Of a ‘Yug Purush’ Prime Minister and the sufferings of mortals in the pandemicThe Wire

By Ravi Joshi

“Never before in the history of independent India has the government failed so spectacularly in its primary duty of protecting the lives and livelihood of its citizens, as this government has done twice in the last one year both by acts of commission and omission.” 

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Ex diplomat whose passing Jaishankar condoled died outside hospital after five-hour waitThe Wire

By Devirupa Mitra

“Former Indian ambassador to Brunei, Mozambique and Algeria, Ashok Amrohi, passed away after midnight on 27 April while waiting for a bed in the parking lot of Gurgaon’s Medanta hospital for nearly 5 hours.”

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VIDEO: “Government data and cremation grounds tell a different picture in Gujarat’s Surat. NDTV’s Purva Chitnis reports”

By NDTV

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VIDEO: “Families of COVID-19 patients clash with the Police in an attempt to enter DRDO Dhanwantari hospital in Ahmedabad. The 900 bed hospital is partially functioning due to lack of staff.”

By Damayantee Dhar

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VIDEO: “Elderly woman dies on the roadside in Srikakulam Andhra Pradesh after hospital refused to admit patient who was COVID-19 positive unless liquid cash is paid upfront; her daughter says they refused digital cash payment; Anjali died after 3-hour wait outside hospital”

By Uma Sudhir

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Indians turn to black market, unproven drugs as virus surgesAssociated Press News

By Aniruddha Ghosal and Neha Mehrotra

“As India faces a devastating surge of new coronavirus infections overwhelming its health care system, people are taking desperate measures to try to keep loved ones alive. In some cases they are turning to unproven medical treatments, in others to the black market for life-saving medications that are in short supply.”

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Beware: Fraudsters are cheating desperate people looking for COVID-19 drugsNewslaundry

By Diksha Munjal

“As desperate requests for COVID-19 beds, oxygen and medicines continue to fill social media timelines, there have been increasing reports of rampant black marketing, theft and hoarding of essential medical supplies.”

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577 teachers on panchayat poll duty died: Unions- National Herald

By National Herald

“The various teachers’ unions in Uttar Pradesh have claimed that 577 teachers and support staff died while on panchayat poll duty in the state. The Allahabad High Court had sent a notice to the State Election Commission seeking explanation on COVID-19 preparedness and the alleged deaths.”

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What has the Centre been doing for the past 14 months? Madras High Court questions COVID-19 management planLive Law India 

By Live Law India

“The Madras High Court questioned the preparedness of the Central Government in relation to the management of COVID-19 pandemic. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy asked what the Centre has been doing over the past 14 months.”

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Consider state’s request to increase oxygen, remdesivir allocation : Karnataka High Court directs centre- Live Law India

By Live Law India

“The Karnataka High Court directed the Government Of India to immediately consider the request which would be made by the State Government seeking to increase the cap on supply of Remdesivir and oxygen allotment to the state, in view of the increase in COVID-19 cases.”

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Election Commission’s apathy as citizens gasp for breath- Live Law India 

By Adab Singh Kapoor

“The power of “Judicial Review” on quite a few occasions is known in history to have saved our constitution from being hijacked. It is being put to test again, as India is standing face-to-face with a deadly pandemic which unfortunately has transformed death into a mere figure that is often read in news and tabloids.” 

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Why Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra got more oxygen than asked for, but Delhi less: HC asks Centre- The Hindu

By Press Trust of India

“The Delhi High Court questioned the Centre as to why various States, including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, were being allocated more oxygen than they demanded while the national capital was not getting even the quantity necessary for treating COVID-19 patients.”

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India grieves 200,000 dead with many more probably uncountedAssociated Press News 

By Sheikh Saaliq, Krutika Pathi and Aniruddha Ghosal

“Stories of deaths tangled in bureaucracy and breakdowns have become dismally common in India, where deaths on Wednesday officially surged past 200,000. But the true death toll is believed to be far higher.”

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India third in journalists’ deaths due to COVID-19 globally, finds media rights body- The Wire

By The Wire 

India is among the top 3 countries in the world when it comes to deaths of journalists due to COVID-19, a Geneva-based media rights body has found. As many as 3 journalists have been dying in India every day out of COVID-19 complications, the Press Emblem Campaign has reported.

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Citizens are plugging India’s gaping, governance gaps in COVID-19 careArticle 14

By Salik Ahmad

“As India faces a catastrophic second wave and the Government is largely prominent by its absence, thousands of ordinary citizens are stepping up to help with information, oxygen, hospital beds, crematoria and even performing last rites, regardless of religion.

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Doctors threatened for blowing whistle on oxygen crisis as COVID-19 grips IndiaThe Telegraph 

By Joe Wallen, Samaan Lateef and Ben Farmer

“A surge of COVID-19 in a bastion of support for the Indian prime minister has been met with cover-ups and intimidation as his party workers scramble to limit political damage from the crisis during local elections, doctors allege.”

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VIDEO: COVID-19 crisis: Police use batons on people at a vaccination centre in Beed, Maharashtra- Scroll.in

By Scroll Staff

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‘Bodies after bodies are coming’: Death and devastation in Delhi- Scroll.in

By Vijayta Lalwani and Aarefa Johari

“Grief is cloaked over the city much like the smoke hovering above from its crematoriums. And pictures of mass cremations in the capital are a testimony to the devastation. At crematoriums, staffers have scrambled to make space for more pyres. “We have had to ask families to take back bodies and cremate them elsewhere,” said Ram Pal, who has been performing the last rites at Dayanand Muktidham crematorium for 11 years.”

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Coronavirus: Don’t hoard oxygen cylinders and create artificial scarcity, Delhi High Court tells residents- Scroll.in

By Scroll Staff

“The Delhi High Court urged residents not to hoard oxygen cylinders and medicines as the second wave of the coronavirus batters the Indian healthcare system, Bar and Bench reported.”

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VIDEO: “We’re getting nothing from the government, no support. They only come to us when they want a vote, now where are they?” Another searing report by @yogital, Fred Scott and Sanjay Ganguly.”

By Nicola Careem

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VIDEO: “Indian citizens are coming forward to help each other as the country’s backbone has been broken by the second wave of COVID-19. Does ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mean everyone is on their own?”

By Shadab Moizee 

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VIDEO: “Bihar | 120 cremations in one day but official data shows 84 COVID-19 deaths”

By NDTV

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COVID-19 surge: Uttarakhand suspends Char Dham Yatra- The Wire

By The Wire

“The Char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand which was scheduled to begin next month has been postponed in view of the massive surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. Announcing the suspension in Dehradun on Thursday, Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat said conducting the yatra amid the raging pandemic is not possible.”

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Indians rush for vaccines as coronavirus toll tops 200,000Reuters 

By Tanvi Mehta, Neha Arora and Sanjeev Miglani

“Indians struggled to register online for a mass vaccination drive set to begin at the weekend as the country’s toll from the coronavirus surged past 200,000 on Wednesday, worsened by shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.”

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What caused rural Jaunpur’s COVID-19 surge? Uttar Pradesh government suspects 100,000 carriersThe Print

By Jyoti Yadav

“Jaunpur, a rural district in Uttar Pradesh comprising 1,740 villages and 21 blocks, is witnessing a surge in infections amid the second COVID-19 wave.  According to the district health bulletin, as of 27 April, Jaunpur had 5,000 active COVID-19 cases, up from 867 on 11 April. This appears to confirm a disturbing observation made by the central government in March, that COVID-19, on the ascent again after a dip in infections, was “moving closer to rural areas”.”

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COVID-19: After temporarily blocking searches for #ResignModi, Facebook restores hashtagThe Wire 

By The Wire Staff

“On Wednesday evening, the social media giant cited violations of its community standards to block searches for #ResignModi. Access to the hashtag, and the associated content, was restored a couple of hours later after user outrage erupted across various social media platforms.”

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Many Hyderabad COVID-19 patients die at home due to bed shortage, say volunteersThe News Minute 

By Mithun MK

“Those who help cremate bodies say besides a lack of beds, steep hospital bills, and ambulance costs are forcing many COVID-19 patients to prefer home treatment.”

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India COVID-19: Deadly second wave spreads from cities to small townsBBC

By Vikas Pandey and Shadab Nazmi

“India’s deadly COVID-19 second wave has devastated big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Pune. Hospitals and crematoriums have run out of space, and funerals are taking place in car parks. But the pandemic has now firmly gripped many smaller cities, towns and villages where the devastation is largely under-reported.”

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Agnipareeksha: Bengaluru’s TR Mills compound flooded with dead bodiesBangalore Mirror 

By Pragna L Krupa 

“Heart-wrenching scenes at the TR Mills compound after it started accepting COVID-19 bodies are putting Bengaluru to the test. And worryingly, non-COVID-19 cremations seem to have outstripped COVID-19 ones.” 

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Wednesday 28 April 2021 

“Due to the fear surrounding COVID-19, the members of Jaunpur village did not allow the last rites to be performed for this elderly man’s wife. Finally, the Police helped him. Rajkumari Devi, 55 years old, died of COVID-19.”

By Puneet Kumar Singh

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Uttar Pradesh: First Information Report filed against man who sought Twitter help for oxygen for grandfather- Scroll.in

By Scroll Staff

“Shashank Yadav had not mentioned if his grandfather had the coronavirus. However, the Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against him for allegedly circulating a rumor with the intent to cause fear or alarm.”

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“India’s COVID-19 crisis in one picture: Dead bodies in a queue at a cremation ground, waiting to make the final journey in Delhi. Photo in Bhaskar today.”

By Ankur Bharadwaj 

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Parliamentary panel predicted second COVID-19 wave in NovemberNewslaundry 

By Meghnad S. 

“The Standing Committee on Health highlighted shortages of medical oxygen and hospital beds. The government seems to have ignored its report.”

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Delhi’s crematoriums run out of wood, seek forest department’s help- Hindustan Times

By Soumya Pillai 

“Delhi’s municipality-run crematoriums are running out of wood required for pyres on account of the rising number of COVID-19 deaths — 2,648 since 20 April  according to the Hindustan Times dashboard — and sought help from the state forest department, as per municipal officials.”

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Even as Uttarakhand reels from sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, Char Dham yatra to go ahead- The Wire

By Wire Staff

“Despite the 1800 percent increase in Uttarakhand’s active COVID-19 cases in the period coinciding with the Kumbh Mela, the state government has given its green signal to hold the annual Char Dham yatra from 14 May.”

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Coronavirus | Rahul Gandhi slams Modi government on high price of vaccines- The Hindu

By The Hindu

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday targeted the Narendra Modi government over ‘high’ vaccine prices and said while the system ensured profits for Mr. Modi’s friends, it failed the citizens.”

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Coronavirus has crushed India’s health system. Patients are on their own- Washington Post

By Joanna Slater, Niha Masih and Shams Irfan 

“In India’s devastating second wave of coronavirus infections, patients and their families are on their own, fighting to save their loved ones in an overwhelmed system where ambulances, hospital beds, oxygen, medicine and even cremation grounds are in short supply.”

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Uncritical support for Modi paved the way for India’s COVID-19 crisis- Caravan Magazine

By Vidya Krishnan 

Patients are dying due to a lack of oxygen in hospitals—at least 24 patients died in a hospital in Nashik, in Maharashtra, on 21 April, and another 25 died in Delhi, the national capital, two days later. The next day, on 24 April, the solicitor general Tushar Mehta lied to the Delhi High Court that the central government had “ensured that nobody in the country was left without oxygen.””

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Bengaluru faces COVID-19 vaccine shortage ahead of 1 May roll out for 18+The News Minute

By Soumya Chatterjee

“There is a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines since the last few days in Bengaluru even as Karnataka entered lockdown from 27 April night to contain the second wave of COVID-19 infections. While the authorities deny any shortage, the situation on the ground is quite the opposite. This is forcing many who were due for their second shot to wait until stocks arrive.”

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VIDEO: “This second wave is the result of complete incompetence”: Dr. Mukulika Banerjee, Professor, London School of Economics- France 24 

By Mark Owen 

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‘In Uttar Pradesh also, COVID-19 positive people are not getting hospital beds’, solicitor general tells Supreme Court in Siddique Kappan case Live Law India 

By Live Law India 

“While opposing the plea seeking shifting of jailed Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan from Mathura jail to Delhi for medical treatment, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that COVID-19 positive patients in Uttar Pradesh were finding it difficult to get hospital beds.”

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Doordarshan’s pandemic mantra: Messiah Modi will save India- Newslaundry

By Ayush Tiwari 

“As a steep COVID-19 surge wreaks havoc in India, Doordarshan’s programming is not focused on the unfolding tragedy, but lionizing prime minister Modi and his government, while projecting his political opponents as tyrannical or incompetent.”

*

Delhi: Dog crematorium site to be used for humans- Times of India

By Paras Singh

“While new pyre platforms are being added across the city crematoria to push them to the maximum capacity, South Delhi Municipal Corporation plans to create temporary human funeral pyre platforms on the project site meant for the first municipal dog crematorium of the city in Dwarka Sector-29.” 

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 Why many people in Kerala are not getting slots on Co-WIN portal for vaccineThe News Minute

By Haritha John, Neethu Joseph and Shiba Kurian 

“Two situations are currently unfolding in Kerala (and probably other states too). On one hand, the Kerala government is urging the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine soon and are even making the two-dose vaccine regimen mandatory to gain access to certain public events or spaces. On the other hand, people above 45 years of age are scrambling to vaccination centers to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, except that it is not available.”

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Coronavirus | Meerut hospitals say patients died due to shortage of oxygenThe Hindu

By Omar Rashid

“Seven patients died in 2 hospitals in Meerut district, allegedly due to scarcity of oxygen supply, doctors said at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government has asserted that there was no shortage of medical oxygen or medicines at any hospital.”

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‘We are witnessing a crime against humanity’: Arundhati Roy on India’s COVID-19 catastropheThe Guardian

By Arundhati Roy

“It’s hard to convey the full depth and range of the trauma, the chaos and the indignity that people are being subjected to. Meanwhile, Modi and his allies are telling us not to complain”

*

By Kavita Krishnan

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As COVID-19 ravages Delhi, authorities grapple with a question: Where do children who lose both parents go?The Indian Express

By Mallica Joshi

“Amidst a pandemic and its protocol that have left most families to cope by themselves, what has largely gone unnoticed is how children are dealing with disease and deaths — of one or both their parents.” 

*

Facebook blocked hashtag calling for Narendra Modi to resign over pandemic- The Guardian 

By Kari Paul  

A hashtag calling for the resignation of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, was briefly blocked on Facebook, hiding more than 12,000 posts critical of the Indian government as the coronavirus pandemic spirals out of control in the country.”

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Even as Uttarakhand reels from sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, Char Dham yatra to go ahead- The Wire

By The Wire Staff

“Despite the 1800 percent increase in Uttarakhand’s active COVID-19 cases in the period coinciding with the Kumbh Mela, the state government has given its green signal to hold the annual Char Dham yatra from 14 May. The state government has agreed to allow the pilgrimage to 4 shrines – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath – despite criticism that the Kumbh Mela had allowed the virus to spread in the state.”

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VIDEO: “As soon as the news of lockdown in Goa broke, hundreds of daily wagers have emptied their rooms and are at the railway station to go back to Jharkhand asap. Last year this time, they had to go hungry for 2 days and had to rely on charity.”

By Shruti Chaturvedi 

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Amethi man booked over tweet asking for oxygen cylinderThe Hindu

By Press Trust of India

“The Police have booked a man here under the Epidemic Act, accusing him of creating fear among the people after he went on Twitter asking for an oxygen cylinder for his 88-year-old relative.”

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VIDEO: “With 20000+ cases of COVID daily in Bangalore, and almost 2 lakh active cases, members of BBMP Powrakarmikara Sangha who handle medical waste of those in home isolation, are in a terrible situation. They have not been given mask or gloves since last year despite repeatedly asking…”

By AICCTU Karnataka

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In court: Tushar Mehta jibes, blocks. Outside: No oxygen and deathArticle 14

By Srishti Jaswal 

“As Delhi’s government claimed oxygen supplies were ‘healthy’, the Center refused to accept that 21 people had died in a hospital from an oxygen shortfall, that it had any role to play in their deaths or explain why it could not deliver the oxygen it promised. We contrast court proceedings with real life” 

*

By Live Law India

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Delhi’s crematoriums run out of wood, seek forest department’s help – Hindustan Times

By Soumya Pillai

“Delhi’s municipality-run crematoriums are running out of wood required for pyres on account of the rising number of COVID-19 deaths — 2,648 since 20 April– and sought help from the state forest department, as per municipal officials. The municipal agencies in the city (north, south and east MCDs) have approached the state forest department to help arrange for wood. Separately, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has issued an order directing officials to use dried cow dung as fuel.”

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“86 bodies were cremated as per COVID-19 protocol in 8 cremation grounds at Bhavnagar, Gujarat, during the last 24 hours according to Sandesh. 7 bodies were buried as per protocol in Bhavnagar on Monday. However, the Gujarat government’s data shows only 8 people have died in Bhavnagar due to COVID-19 in the last 2 days.”

By Deepak Patel

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Coronavirus: Maharashtra reports 985 deaths, over 63,000 fresh infections – Scroll.in

By Scroll Staff

“Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 985 deaths and over 63,000 new cases. With this, the state’s tally reached 44,73,394. The Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine will cost state government INR 300 instead of INR 400.”

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Gasping for breath: Women provide a glimpse into India’s COVID-19 disasterThe Fuller Project 

Introduction by Tanvi Misra 

“In April, the trend line of COVID-19 cases reported in India started rising so steeply that it looked vertical. As with all disasters, this one worsens existing inequalities across gender, caste, religion, and class — and it is partially man-made.” 

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WATCH: Ground report: Delhi struggles to survive second wave of COVID-19: Hospitals without beds, cremation grounds running at full capacity, patients waiting hours and hours for oxygen The Wire 

By Seraj Ali 

“For 6 consecutive days, India has recorded over 300,000 cases of COVID-19. Within the month of April, nearly 34,600 lives were lost as the second wave of the coronavirus ravaged the country. In the capital, New Delhi, people are struggling to survive. Throughout the city, dozens of ambulances are making the rounds, carrying patients who are in desperate need of oxygen and hospitalization. Plunged into a crisis where the medical infrastructure has fallen far too short, many aren’t able to survive.”

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Rajasthan Hight Court issues notice to centre, state government over discrimination in allotment of oxygen, remdesivir – Outlook India 

By Tabeenah Anjum

“Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to central and the state governments over discrimination in the allotment of oxygen and Remdesivir injections for the COVID-19 patients in the state. According to the  Rajasthan health minister, the state requires around 10,000 Remdesivir injections and 365 MT oxygen per day with the surge in COVID-19 patients: Rajasthan health minister.” 

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VIDEO: COVID-19 crisis: Queuing for cremation in the capital: Delhi’s funeral grounds are struggling to keep pace as the death toll mountsNewslaundry

By Akansha Kumar 

“As the catastrophic second wave of the coronavirus pandemic rips through Delhi and the death toll mounts, the capital’s crematoria are struggling to conduct funerals. Newslaundry visited two crematoria in West Delhi where the waiting time for cremation averages over 5 hours.”

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VIDEO: “Woman in video who cried begged for son’s life and was told “bekaar ki baatein mat karo” (don’t talk bullshit) by Noida CMO has lost her son.”

By Dushyant

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Gujarat: Wait for oxygen triggers riot in Kutch, gunshots fired- The Times of India 

By Times News Network 

“The crippling shortage and frustrating wait for oxygen has started causing law and order problems. On Tuesday, rioting broke out between two groups in Moti Chirai village of Kutch’s Bhachau taluka with gunshots being fired in the air and vehicles vandalized.” 

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“3 new furnaces to be installed in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, to deal with surge in number of cremations: Gujarat Samachar Gandhinagar already has 14 furnaces that are constantly working. Note: Gujarat government data says only 9 people have died in Gandhinagar due to COVID-19 in the last 3 days.”

By Deepak Patel

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“Please save her”: Mother’s SOS for baby who died after hospital wait- NDTV

By Uma Sudhir 

An infant died after a long wait for admission into a hospital in Andhra Pradesh’s Vishakhapatnam last evening. She had reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and had difficulty breathing. Her parents begged for her treatment for nearly an hour but when she was finally admitted, it was too late.”

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Seven COVID-19 patients in Meerut dead, hospitals say no oxygen- NDTV

By Saurabh Shukla

“Three COVID-19 patients died at a private hospital — Anand hospital in Meerut. Another 4 died at the KMC hospital. The doctors have attributed the deaths to oxygen shortage.”

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VIDEO: “भईया मेरी मां चली जाएगी [Sir, my mother will die]… A man cried and begged policemen not to take away the oxygen cylinder he arranged for his mother in critical condition. The cylinder was reportedly confiscated from a private hospital in Agra to supply it for a VIP.”

By Deepak-Lavania

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India blames a virus variant as its COVID-19 crisis deepens- The New York Times

By Jeffrey Gettleman, Shalini Venugopal and Apoorva Mandavilli

Doctors, the public and the media point to anecdotal evidence of infections even among the vaccinated. Scientists say the data is too thin and cite other reasons behind the country’s second wave.”

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VIDEO: “Gujarat: Surat crematorium ground overburdened as COVID-19 cases, deaths surge in the city. NDTV’s Purva Chitnis reports”

By NDTV

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Ireland to send 365 ventilators and oxygen generator to India as it fights COVID-19 surge- The Independent

By Ciara O’Loughlin

“Ireland is to send 365 ventilators and at least one oxygen generator to India as it battles a COVID-19 surge with an overwhelmed health system. It is in addition to an emergency donation of 700 oxygen concentrators already sent to the country which is critically short of oxygen supplies and other medical equipment to fight the disease.”

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COVID-19: India records 200,000 coronavirus deaths – as UK to send 3 ‘oxygen factories’Sky News

By Sky News

“The UK is to send 3 “container-sized oxygen factories” to India as the number of people who have died with coronavirus there passes 200,000.”

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VIDEO: “The spread of COVID-19 in prisons across Madhya Pradesh is escalating at an alarming rate. Watch this important video by Srujana Bej for CPA Project India to learn why we need to decongest prisons NOW!”

By Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAP)

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Lest we forgetNetwork of women in India (NWMI)

By NWMI Editors

“In India, as well as many other countries, journalists have operated on the frontline over the past year. When the nation was in lockdown and when it was in unmasked denial and at every stage in between, journalists have been reporting. They have written, recorded videos, taken photographs, analysed data, read stacks of papers, recorded podcasts. They have walked, driven, taken trains and buses.”

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India’s COVID-19 vaccine program has glaring data and communication issues- Quartz India

By Manavi Kapur

“India has fully vaccinated only about 23 million people, not even 10 percent of the 300 million it aims to inoculate by August. Lest we forget, there are 1.3 billion people in India.”

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As the second COVID-19 wave breaks the Bihar paradox, what should the State do? – The Wire Science 

By Vikash R. Keshari 

“In Bihar, one of India’s poorest states and which has a very fragile health system, the number of cases dipped to as low as fewer than 50 a day in January. Even before that, the state had surprisingly been spared the worst of the first wave, except for 2 months of chaos in July and August. At various points during the first wave, experts repeatedly said something worse was around the corner, but somehow that never came to be.”

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Modi’s pandemic choice: Protect his image or protect India. He chose himself- The Washington Post

By Sumit Ganguly

“India’s coronavirus crisis is stunning to behold. In northern India, bodies are being cremated in public parks because crematoriums have exceeded their capacity. Elsewhere, officials have suggested that families bury in their backyards relatives who succumbed to COVID-19. Despite being the world’s largest producer of vaccines, India has fully vaccinated less than 2 percent of its 1.3 billion people. Shortages of the antiviral drug Remdesivir have people begging friends and relatives on social media to locate supplies.” 

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COVID-19: The Adityanath government has moved from denial to intimidationThe Wire

By Ismat Ara

In an online meeting on 25 April, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath asked senior administrative and police officials to “crack down” on hospitals that discharge patients on the grounds of a shortage of oxygen or “complain” about shortages to the media.” 

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After days of protest in Delhi, doctors’ salaries cleared upto SeptemberThe New Indian Express

By Somrita Ghosh

“The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Tuesday announced that the civic body has cleared the salaries of doctors  — including all seniors and residents — upto the month of September. The North MCD has also said that the salaries of safai karmacharis and domestic breeding checkers till the month of August have also been cleared.”

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VIDEO: “Heart-wrenching—A mother in her 50s dies of COVID-19 after she had low oxygen. But there’s no ambulance, so her dead body is carried by motorbike—by her son & son-in-law, her corpse wedged in-between her sons, ferrying her home. Heart-breaking for India.”

By Eric Feigl-Ding

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India has lost 45 journalists to COVID-19 in 2 weeks- BBC

By Soutik Biswas

“Condolences are again pouring in on the WhatsApp group. These groups full of strangers have become a powerful symbol of India’s COVID-19 story – a place where people share pleas for help, and stories of both loss and hope.This time, it’s the former: another journalist has died of COVID-19, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. “It’s so heart-breaking to lose your colleagues like this. May he rest in peace and may God give us strength to fight back,” a message reads.”

Tuesday 27 April 2021 

As COVID-19 devastates Delhi, Central Vista project declared an essential service, work continuesScroll.in 

By Vijayta Lalwani 

“No construction is allowed in Delhi’s lockdown unless workers live on site. But 180 vehicles have been given permission to bring workers to the Central Vista.”

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VIDEO: “‘The CM is blind’: Angry relatives lash out after young man’s death without treatment in Kanpur.”

By Scroll.in

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No masks, crowded rallies: Precautions go for a toss at Telangana municipal campaigns: As many as seven urban local bodies, including two corporations, are going for polls on 30 April despite the increasing COVID-19 cases – The News Minute 

By Charan Teja

“The state of Telangana reported 10,122 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and it was the fifth consecutive day where the state saw over 6,000 cases in 24 hours. At such a time, when the health mechanism is grappling with the crisis, political parties in the state are contributing to the swelling number of cases by holding election campaign rallies and road shows.”

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“Pull up your socks, get your house in order, will ask central government to take over if you cannot do it”: Delhi High Court to Delhi Government – LiveLaw

By Shrishti Ojha

“The Delhi High Court on Tuesday thrashed the Delhi Government on distribution of medical oxygen supply after the submissions by one of the suppliers namely Seth Air on its failure of supply oxygen to Maharaja Agrasen Hospital.”

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We spoke to a cremator at the center of India’s COVID Hell: In New Delhi’s largest crematorium, some workers no longer wear protective gear, and are forced to find alternative spots to burn bodies – Vice India  

By Suprakash Majumdar 

“I don’t feel anything when I see a dead body,” the crematorium worker said. “Maybe I don’t want to feel anything. I drink two bottles of beer every day before coming to work.”

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VIDEO: “Early on 27 April, at a crematorium in India’s capital New Delhi.”

By Ahmer Khan

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“Allahabad High Court takes judicial notice of a news item stating that 135 teachers, Shiksha Mitras and investigators, who were assigned election duty, have died. Sends a notice to state election commission to explain why action should not be taken against its officials.”

By The Leaflet

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VIDEO: “Thousands gather for religious event as COVID-19 norms were violated at Mangaluru’s Someshwar Somnath temple where several devotees attended ‘Bramha Rathothsava’.”

By Mirror Now

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Migrant workers leave Bengaluru in droves as lockdown restrictions beginThe News Minute

By Prajwal Bhat and Shishir Rao

“With the lockdown restrictions coming into effect in Bengaluru at 9 pm on Tuesday night, a rush was reported in railway stations and bus stations in Bengaluru with large numbers of migrant workers leaving the city. A similar rush was reported in the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (Majestic) Railway station at the centre of the city where long lines of migrant workers were reported boarding the evening train to New Delhi. Here too, many people were seen camping at the railway station waiting for their trains.”

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India, home to the world’s worst ongoing coronavirus outbreak, has reported more than 17.6 million cases since the pandemic began last year. But the real number, experts fear, could be up to 30 times higher — meaning more than half a billion cases. – CNN  

By Jessie Yeung 

“The number of mass funerals, cremations and bodies piling up have cast doubt on the official reported deaths in numerous cities these past few weeks. The discrepancies could partially be due to patients dying before they are tested, or having non-COVID-19 factors listed as their cause of death, experts say.”

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Amid Health Crisis, Central Vista Project Work to Continue As ‘Essential Service’:

By The Wire

“As the country in general and national capital in particular reels under a severe health crisis, with its health system under pressure amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases, the work on the Modi government’s Central Vista project has been permitted to continue as an “essential service”

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Coronavirus has crushed India’s health system. Patients are on their own – Washington Post

By Joanna Slater, Niha Masih and Shams Irfan

“Some are dying not because they have COVID-19 but because they cannot access proper care. Late Tuesday in Delhi, there were just nine intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients available in a city of more than 17 million, a government dashboard showed, with 11 such beds reserved for pregnant women and children. Each day brings reports of people dying just outside hospitals.”

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The young in these 2 Varanasi villages started to die. That’s when COVID-19 became ‘real’The Print

By Jyoti Yadav

“Varanasi is among the 4 high-burden districts in Uttar Pradesh. Villagers said ‘fever and cough’ had claimed many lives before they realized the deaths had ‘something to do with COVID-19’.”

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India Is What Happens When Rich People Do NothingThe Atlantic 

By Vidya Krishnan

“India’s economic liberalization in the ’90s brought with it a rapid expansion of the private health-care industry, a shift that ultimately created a system of medical apartheid: World-class private hospitals catered to wealthy Indians and medical tourists from abroad; state-run facilities were for the poor. Those with money were able to purchase the best available care (or, in the case of the absolute richest, flee to safety in private jets), while elsewhere the country’s health-care infrastructure was held together with duct tape. The Indians who bought their way to a healthier life did not, or chose not to, see the widening gulf. Today, they are clutching their pearls as their loved ones fail to get ambulances, doctors, medicine, and oxygen.”

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Kashmir hospitals run out of Remdesivir as COVID-19 crisis worsens  The Kashmir Wallah

By Yashraj Sharma 

“Three major hospitals treating hundreds of COVID-19 patients in Kashmir valley have run out of supplies of Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine which is approved for the treatment of critical patients.”

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 Dispatch from India: A sixth of the world’s population awaits tomorrow with horror: What do hundreds of thousands of cases a day do to a country? – Prospect Mag 

By Mahesh Rao

“After one of the strictest and most sudden lockdowns in the world last March, precipitating an enormous crisis for migrant workers within India, when restrictions were eventually lifted COVID-19 numbers surged in July and August. Cases and deaths began to decline in September, creating the breathing space to take stock, conduct scientific evaluations and assess health care capacity, if those responsible had been willing to do so.”

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India Is What Happens When Rich People Do NothingThe Atlantic 

By Vidya Krishnan

“India’s economic liberalization in the ’90s brought with it a rapid expansion of the private health-care industry, a shift that ultimately created a system of medical apartheid: World-class private hospitals catered to wealthy Indians and medical tourists from abroad; state-run facilities were for the poor. Those with money were able to purchase the best available care (or, in the case of the absolute richest, flee to safety in private jets), while elsewhere the country’s health-care infrastructure was held together with duct tape. The Indians who bought their way to a healthier life did not, or chose not to, see the widening gulf. Today, they are clutching their pearls as their loved ones fail to get ambulances, doctors, medicine, and oxygen.”

*

Kashmir hospitals run out of Remdesivir as COVID-19 crisis worsens  The Kashmir Wallah

By Yashraj Sharma 

“Three major hospitals treating hundreds of COVID-19 patients in Kashmir valley have run out of supplies of Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine which is approved for the treatment of critical patients.”

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 Dispatch from India: A sixth of the world’s population awaits tomorrow with horror: What do hundreds of thousands of cases a day do to a country? – Prospect Mag 

By Mahesh Rao

“After one of the strictest and most sudden lockdowns in the world last March, precipitating an enormous crisis for migrant workers within India, when restrictions were eventually lifted Covid numbers surged in July and August. Cases and deaths began to decline in September, creating the breathing space to take stock, conduct scientific evaluations and assess health care capacity, if those responsible had been willing to do so.”

*

India COVID-19: The messages deciding between life and death: As a second wave of coronavirus devastates India, with more than 350,000 cases reported daily, the families of the sick are desperately hunting on social media for help – BBC

By Georgina Rannard

‘It’s chaotic and overwhelming. A WhatsApp message starts circulating: “Two ICU beds free.” Minutes later, they’re gone, to be occupied by whoever got there first. Another message: “Urgently needed oxygen concentrator. Please help.”‘

*

India’s COVID-19 crisis is what the world feared Council for Foreign Ralations 

By Claire Felter

“No country has experienced as devastating a wave of COVID-19 infections as India is now. It set a new record for single-day infections last week, overtaking the United States, and it accounts for almost half of new cases worldwide. Experts say a combination of factors gave rise to the explosion in cases: new variants of the virus, including one first detected in India, that are thought to be more transmissible; a weak government response; and large public gatherings.”

*

India asks Twitter to take down some tweets critical of its COVID-19 handlingReuters 

By Kanisha Singh 

“The Indian government asked social media platform Twitter to take down dozens of tweets, including some by local lawmakers, that were critical of its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, as cases of COVID-19 again hit a world record.”

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‘COVID-19 Vaccines Not A Luxury.’ Former health secretary criticises Modi government policyArticle 14

By Swagata Yadavar

“India could have bought COVID-19 vaccines within its Rs 35,000 crore budget, if the Centre had negotiated with manufacturers. Now, with base prices fixed, India may need Rs 60,000 crore, but this, too, needs one negotiator, not 29 states, seven union territories and the central government.”

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COVID-19: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi orders crack down on hospitals flagging oxygen shortageTelegraph India 

By Piyush Srivstava

“At an online meeting on Sunday evening, Adityanath asked senior administrative and police officers, including divisional commissioners and inspectors-general, to crack down on hospitals that discharge patients citing an oxygen shortage or complain to the media about the crisis, a senior health department official said.”

*

Video: Families seen struggling for oxygen cylinders in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. 

By Lallantop 

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Video: Uttar Pradesh Police SI speaks of irregularities in the hospital in which he had hospitalized his wife who passed away on 22 April. 

By Piyush Rai

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Failed government messaging created India’s COVID-19 apocalypseForeign Policy 

By Anik Joshi

“..a complicating factor was the relatively small size, under $300 billion, of the coronavirus aid package passed by the government. (By comparison, the United States, with a population of less than one-third of India’s, has spent a few trillion dollars so far.) India had to be more fiscally cautious than the United States, though; the country doesn’t have U.S. spending capacity and was worried about a possible downgrade in debt. With less relief, people needed to get back to work sooner, and the lockdown was unsustainable—if people don’t have the money to eat, everything else is pretty much irrelevant.”

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Plotting the COVID-19 explosion in Bengal as it saw India’s longest-ever state electionScroll.in

By Shoaib Daniyal

“In spite of the speed of the rise, political considerations remained paramount. The Trinamool was the only party that asked the commission to shorten the duration of the election by clubbing phases together. As the strongest party on the ground, it was likely to be least affected by campaigning being limited.”

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India COVID-19: The messages deciding between life and death: As a second wave of coronavirus devastates India, with more than 350,000 cases reported daily, the families of the sick are desperately hunting on social media for help – BBC

By Georgina Rannard

‘It’s chaotic and overwhelming. A WhatsApp message starts circulating: “Two ICU beds free.” Minutes later, they’re gone, to be occupied by whoever got there first. Another message: “Urgently needed oxygen concentrator. Please help.”‘

*

India’s COVID-19 crisis is what the world feared Council for Foreign Ralations 

By Claire Felter

“No country has experienced as devastating a wave of COVID-19 infections as India is now. It set a new record for single-day infections last week, overtaking the United States, and it accounts for almost half of new cases worldwide. Experts say a combination of factors gave rise to the explosion in cases: new variants of the virus, including one first detected in India, that are thought to be more transmissible; a weak government response; and large public gatherings.”

*

India asks Twitter to take down some tweets critical of its COVID-19 handlingReuters 

By Kanisha Singh 

“The Indian government asked social media platform Twitter to take down dozens of tweets, including some by local lawmakers, that were critical of its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, as cases of COVID-19 again hit a world record.”

*

‘COVID-19 Vaccines Not A Luxury.’ Former health secretary criticizes Modi government policyArticle 14

By Swagata Yadavar

“India could have bought COVID-19 vaccines within its Rs 35,000 crore budget, if the Centre had negotiated with manufacturers. Now, with base prices fixed, India may need Rs 60,000 crore, but this, too, needs one negotiator, not 29 states, seven union territories and the central government.”

*

COVID-19: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi orders crack down on hospitals flagging oxygen shortageTelegraph India 

By Piyush Srivstava

“At an online meeting on Sunday evening, Adityanath asked senior administrative and police officers, including divisional commissioners and inspectors-general, to crack down on hospitals that discharge patients citing an oxygen shortage or complain to the media about the crisis, a senior health department official said.”

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Video: “Families seen struggling for oxygen cylinders in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.” 

By Lallantop 

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Video: “Uttar Pradesh Police Sub Inspector speaks of irregularities in the hospital in which he had hospitalized his wife who passed away on 22 April.” 

By Piyush Rai

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Failed government messaging created India’s COVID-19 apocalypseForeign Policy 

By Anik Joshi

“..a complicating factor was the relatively small size, under $300 billion, of the coronavirus aid package passed by the government. (By comparison, the United States, with a population of less than one-third of India’s, has spent a few trillion dollars so far.) India had to be more fiscally cautious than the United States, though; the country doesn’t have U.S. spending capacity and was worried about a possible downgrade in debt. With less relief, people needed to get back to work sooner, and the lockdown was unsustainable—if people don’t have the money to eat, everything else is pretty much irrelevant.”

*

Plotting the COVID-19 explosion in Bengal as it saw India’s longest-ever state electionScroll.in

By Shoaib Daniyal

“In spite of the speed of the rise, political considerations remained paramount. The Trinamool was the only party that asked the commission to shorten the duration of the election by clubbing phases together. As the strongest party on the ground, it was likely to be least affected by campaigning being limited.”

*

“It is the duty of central government to ensure hindrance free supply of oxygen, states including Uttar Pradesh shouldn’t obstruct/stop oxygen movement”: Madhya Pradesh High Court LiveLaw

By Sparsh Upadhyay

It is expected of every state including state of Uttar Pradesh, not to stop/obstruct the movement of oxygen so as to divert the same to its hospitals, which as per the allocation made by the Central Government is meant for another state. Recurrence of such incident may lead to chaos and disrupt the timely supply of oxygen to the hospitals, which is in the ongoing crisis very crucial to save lives.”

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TNM investigation: Scores of COVID-19 deaths in Bengaluru missing from state count The News Minute 

By Dhanya Rajendran

“TNM visited all seven crematoriums in Bengaluru meant for COVID-19 bodies and also spoke to those who manage the Indian Christian cemetery burial ground and the Jumma Masjid Trust Board burial ground in Nandidurga. We found that the number of bodies being cremated per day in Bengaluru indicates that the state bulletins are not giving the full picture. BBMP sources that TNM spoke to revealed that this is true — the number of deaths from COVID-19 in Bengaluru is indeed much higher than what is reported.”

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Coronavirus: Maharashtra reports 895 deaths – highest one-day rise, over 66,000 new infectionsScroll.in

By Scroll Staff

“India registered 3,23,144 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, to 1,76,36,307. While the single-day infection count is slightly less than Monday’s count, India registered more than 3 lakh cases for the sixth day in a row. With 2,771 deaths, the toll went up to 1,97,894.”

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‘Different manufacturers coming with different prices’ : Supreme Court asks Centre to explain rationale of COVID-19 vaccine pricing- Live Law India

By Live Law India

“The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Central Government to explain the rationale behind the pricing policy for COVID-19 vaccines in the suo moto case taken on the issues related to COVID-19. The Court has directed the Centre to explain in an affidavit the basis and rationale adopted in regard to the pricing of vaccines.”

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“Indian Medical Association declares Modi a “superspreader””

Source: Amar Sidhu

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Gurugram: No ambulance, families carry COVID-19 victims in autos, private vehicles for cremation – India Today

By Tanushree Pandey

“Amid an unprecedented health crisis due to the COVID-19 second wave, families in Haryana’s Gurugram are being forced to take COVID-19 victims for cremation in auto-rickshaws and private vehicles in the absence of ambulance services.”

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COVID-19 deaths: A cremation ground in Bhopal tells a very different story from the official one- India Ahead

By Kashif 

“After the COVID-19 pandemic entered India in March 2020,  says that he has cremated 2,100 people who died from the deadly virus, including close to an overwhelming 800 in just this month.  “Cremating COVID-19 infected bodies has become a part of my daily life,” he said.   Ghat is a privately-owned cremation ground located on the outskirts of Bhopal, which employs 7 men to cremate bodies. Like cremation grounds across the country, it tells the story of the deadly second wave of COVID-19 that has infected and killed in record numbers in India.”

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‘People are dropping dead like flies’: In Uttar Pradesh villages, COVID-19 turns silent killer – Scroll.in

By Arunabh Saikia and Utpal Pathak

“In villages in the state of Uttar Pradesh, people are dying of fever and breathlessness even before they can be tested for the disease.”

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Dispatch from India: A sixth of the world’s population awaits tomorrow with horrorProspect 

By Mahesh Rao 

“India is in the grip of a public health calamity, reporting almost 350,000 coronavirus cases on 25 April, the highest number recorded in one day in any country since the pandemic began. Hospitals have been pushed beyond all capacity; people are dying laid on stretchers in car parks or in stationary ambulances; metal equipment in crematoriums has melted from the sheer number of bodies. Some of India’s finest hospitals have begun announcing on Twitter how long they have before their oxygen supply runs out” 

Monday 26 April 2021 

In Nashik, where oxygen leak killed many patients, a familiar story of round-the-clock cremations: Cremations are now being held on pavements as bodies pile up – The Wire

By Nazia Sayed

“The records at the crematorium mention at least 100 bodies being disposed off in a day, out of which at least 60 are coronavirus-related deaths. But this does not reflect in the government records, which show a daily account of nine or ten COVID-19 deaths in city and a total of 57 in the district. The crematoriums are so overburdened that they issue token numbers and a booking system for the dead bodies. Amar Dham crematorium, which is the largest in the city, has now allowed the bodies to be burnt on the pavements, and roads inside the cremation ground, which has speeded up the process. But then it ran out of firewood.”

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Did states fail to use PM-Cares funds allocated by the centre to build oxygen plants?Scroll.in

By Vijayta Lalwani and Arunabh Saikia 

“The Central Medical Services Society, a body under the Union ministry of health, was responsible for evaluating the bids, checking the eligibility of bidders, fixing prices, selecting vendors and ensuring the selected vendors delivered the goods.The role of the state governments was limited to ensuring the district hospitals had completed the civil and electrical work required for the plants. The district hospitals had to provide a site readiness certificate to the vendor.”

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How the terror of COVID-19 besieged my village in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh – The Caravan 

By Sunil Kashyap

“While the state did take some steps in tracing and quarantining COVID-19 patients last year, this year everyone has been left to take care of themselves. To get tested for COVID-19, Dhanaura Silvernagar residents have to travel 15 or 20 kilometres to go to either Baraut city or Baghpat city on their own. I could not find any official data of how many cases are there in my village.”

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

By Arvind Gunasekar

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Uttar Pradesh struggles: ‘Made several calls, could not get bed for wife’ – Indian Express

By Asad Rehman and Aveenash Mishra 

“The number of newly added beds in Uttar Pradesh is unable to catch up with a rising number of cases. Lack of moderation from the government has led to sky-rocketing prices of hospital stays and black marketing continues rampant.”

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

State after state shut down special COVID-19 centres just before second wave Indian Express

By Express News Service

“In state after state, health infrastructure created during the first wave of infections, was dismantled early this year, amid the mistaken belief the pandemic was coming to an end. Makeshift hospitals were folded up, contractual healthcare staff were let go, and little effort was made to ramp up critical health infrastructure like ventilators and medical-grade oxygen.”

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Agra COVID-19 patients denied oxygen, ambulances, pyres and dignityTelegraph India 

By Piyush Srivastava

“As media pressure remains on the state capital Lucknow, smaller cities like Agra are flying under the radar as cases increase and availability of beds, medicines and cremation grounds are unable to catch up.” 

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Opinion: India is trying to suppress social media platforms. The U.S. should stand up for them- Washington Post 

By Washington Post

“India announced this week that it had directed platforms to purge about 100 posts it claimed could worsen the crisis, and at least in part the companies have complied — though Facebook has taken down far fewer posts than requested, said a source familiar with the firm. What the ruling party calls “misusing social media to create panic” in society might, to an impartial observer, look more like criticizing those in power: The content in question included indictments from the opposition and calls for Mr. Modi to resign.” 

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

THREAD: “Madras High Court comes down heavily on Election Commission of India ​​​​​​​for allowing political rallies during Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee goes to the extent of saying “Election Commission officers should be booked on murder charges probably”.”

By Livelaw

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“A dead body arrives every minute at Ghazipur crematorium in Delhi.”

Source: Ahmer Khan

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Existing infrastructure ‘might not be able to cope’ with COVID-19 surge: CentreThe Science Wire

By Press Trust of India

“Noting that existing infrastructure “might not be able to cope” with the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday suggested that states should identify geographies with higher positivity or bed occupancy rate, and take local containment measures for 14 days.”

*​​​​​​​

India COVID-19: Anger as twitter ordered to remove critical virus posts- BBC

By BBC

“Thousands across India are outraged after the government ordered social media platform Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of the virus. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed it had blocked some material from being viewed in India. One Twitter user accused the government of “finding it easier to take down tweets than ensure oxygen supplies”.”

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Why is Gujarat forcing hospitals to only accept COVID-19 patients coming through ‘108’ ambulances? Scroll.in 

By Aarefa Johri

“Those arriving by autos, private vehicles or other private ambulances are being asked to come in the state-run ambulance service to access triage and treatment. Triage is the process of examining patients and determining who gets priority for treatment based on the the severity of their condition.”

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

PHOTO: “A crematorium in Porbandar, Gujarat, cremated 47 bodies in 16 hours on one day. But Gujarat government says no one died of COVID-19 in Porbandar on Sunday. “Therefore, which disease is killed the 47 people?” asked Gujarat Samachar.”

Source: Deepak Patel

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

“Mumbai’s journalists lost 4 stalwarts to COVID-19 all in a day, on 26 April. Vivek Bendre, photographer of Hindu; Sachin Shinde, 64, of Navakal; Sukhnandan Gavai, of an Ulhasnagar daily & Jairam Sawant, assistant editor of Dainik Sagar.”

By Gurbir Singh

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

THREAD: “After a wait of over 3 months, Kerala journalist and UAPA accused Siddique Kappan’s Habeas Corpus plea has finally been listed for 27 April, his lawyer says.”

By Aishwarya Iyer

*​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

COVID-19: India to allow Amarnath pilgrimage despite surge in cases- Deutsche Welle

By Deutsche Welle

“Critics have said the annual Amarnath pilgrimage could lead to a devastating wave of the coronavirus in India-administered Kashmir, which has underequipped health care facilities. Locals say New Delhi is trying to use the Amarnath pilgrimage to further its nationalist agenda and showcase the return of normality in the region.”

Sunday 25 April 2021 

‘No shortage of oxygen’: Adityanath wants NSA invoked against those who spread ‘rumours’The Wire

By The Wire

“Asserting that there is no shortage of oxygen in any private or public COVID-19 hospital in Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath  asked officials to take action under the National Security Act and the Gangsters Act against “anti-social elements” who spread “rumours” and propaganda on social media and try to “spoil the atmosphere”, the Hindu reported.”

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India COVID-19: Patients dying without oxygen amid Delhi surgeBBC

By Vikas Pandey 

“For the fourth day in a row, India has set an unwelcome world record for new coronavirus infections, with 349,691 more cases in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, and another 2,767 lives lost. The BBC’s Vikas Pandey reports from the capital Delhi, where hospitals are overwhelmed and people are desperate.”

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Oxygen shortage | Seize property of those spreading rumours: Yogi AdityanathThe Hindu

By Omar Rashid

“Amid reports of patients and hospitals struggling to find and maintain oxygen supply, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to take action under the National Security Act and seize the property of individuals who spread “rumours” and propaganda on social media and try to “spoil the atmosphere”.”

*​​​​​​​

“He is chained like an animal in hospital”, journalist Siddique Kappan’s wife writes to Chief Justice of India Ramana seeking his immediate releaseLive Law India

By Sparsh Upadhyay

“The wife of Kerala based Journalist Siddique Kappan, Raihanth Kappan has written a letter, through Advocate Wills Mathews, addressed to the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana seeking his immediate intervention to release Kappan from Mathura Medical College to Mathura Jail as his “life is in extreme danger.” 

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Opinion: India’s coronavirus surge could collapse its health system. The U.S. can help- The Washington Post

By Ashish K. Jha

“India, the world’s largest democracy, is now the epicenter of the pandemic and on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. Hospitals are overwhelmed. Hospitals in the capital city of New Delhi have run out of oxygen. Officially, about 2,000 people are dying daily, but most experts estimate that the true number is five to 10 times that.”

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Twitter removes over 50 posts on government orders; majority related to COVID-19The Hindu

By Special Correspndent

“Twitter has removed over 50 posts from its platform following orders from the government. The majority of these tweets were critical of the Centre’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as India grappled with a record number of cases amid shortage of beds and medical oxygen.” 

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Every second person getting tested in Kolkata is positive Times of India 

By Sumati Yengkhom

“One of two persons undergoing RT-PCR tests in Kolkata and it its suburbs is turning out to be COVID-19-positive. In the rest of the state, one of four RT-PCR report is COVID-19 positive. That is a five-fold jump from the beginning of the month, when only one of 20 tests was positive.”

*

“Gujarat continues to under report COVID-19 deaths, according to Sandesh. A total of 1,404 bodies were cremated in seven major cities as per COVID-19 protocol over the last 2 days. However, the Gujarat government says only 191 died in these cities due to COVID-19 in this time period.”

By Deepak Patel 

*

Yet another record number of cases, India on brink of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ – The Wire Science

By Sanjeev Miglani and Sudarshan Varadhan

“India‘s number of cases surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.”

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A Sikh temple aids India’s COVID-19 patients battling for breath Reuters

By Danish Siddiqui 

“A massive surge in COVID-19 cases in India, which set a new global record of the most number of infections in a day on Sunday, has left many infected people struggling to find treatment, with hospitals overcrowded and many running out of oxygen. At the Sikh gurudwara (temple) in Ghaziabad city on the outskirts of the capital Delhi, the humanitarian tragedy is visible on the street.”

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11 Kerala MPs write to CJI seeking interim relief to Siddique KappanMaktoob Media 

By Maktoob Staff

“A group of eleven parliament members from Kerala wrote a joint representation to the newly appointed Chief Justice of India, Justice NV Ramana, seeking an urgent hearing of the matter writ petition of arrested Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan.”

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“The Delhi Police rubbishes allegations that it is asking people who are amplifying resource information not to share it publicly else legal action will be taken.”

By The Leaflet

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VIDEO: “Unattended dead bodies, cremation on the streets, people lamenting in pain in want of beds, crying for oxygen in Delhi. Engage in prayers that such situation doesn’t befall upon us where we have around 300 ventilators.”

By Qazi Shibli 

Original video by Hemant Rajaura

*

“Journalist Siddique Kappan, who has tested positive for COVID-19, is “chained to a cot” in the hospital in Mathura. Press Club of India urges Supreme Court to take up the matter urgently & ensure that Kappan is treated humanely. Justice delayed is justice denied​​​​​.”

By Press Club of India

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VIDEO: “On the Spot: “Is [Modi] going to get his victory by setting the country on fire?” Neena, whose brother died of COVID-19, asked. “On whose pyres is he going to get his victory?”. Report from Delhi’s Old Seemapuri cremation ground.”

By ​​​​​​​Shahid Tantray ​​​​​​​and Ck Vijayakumar​​​​​​​ for the The Caravan 

Saturday 24 April 2021 

Hyderabad: No place to preserve bodies if death comes calling in the nightThe Wire  

By The Wire

“Due to the lack of storage facilities in a number of small private hospitals in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) region to preserve dead bodies, family members of those who succumb to COVID-19 are facing difficulties if a patient dies late in the evening, The Hindu has reported.”

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VIDEO: “As COVID-19 bodies were brought to the crematorium without a break, officials set up pyres on a parking lot next to the road in East Delhi. They lost count after 100 on Friday evening [23 April]. The crematorium handled around 20 bodies a day before the pandemic.”

By Prawesh Lama

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“Earlier today, BJP held a large rally in Malda attended by Mithun Chakraborty with 2,000 people. EC [Election Commission] to file an FIR [First Information Report] for ignoring COVID-19 guidelines. Similar allegations also against Dilip Ghosh, although EC yet to act. Meanwhile there is now an acute shortage of bed in Kolkata.”

By Shoaib Daniyal

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India logs almost 1 million new COVID-19 cases in 3 days amid deadly surgeForbes

By Tommy Beer

“Hospitals are besieged with critically ill patients gasping for air in India, which reported a record-shattering 346,786 new cases of COVID-19 on 24 April, as the country has become the new epicenter of the pandemic.” 

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“They can not cope with the number of dead. @AlexCrawfordSky ​​​​​​​reports from New Delhi where a makeshift crematorium has been set up outside a hospital as the country struggles to cope with the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.”

By Sky News

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As COVID-19 devastates India, deaths go under countedThe New York Times

By Jeffrey GettlemanSameer YasirHari Kumar and Suhasini Raj

“India’s coronavirus second wave is rapidly sliding into a devastating crisis, with hospitals unbearably full, oxygen supplies running low, desperate people dying in line waiting to see doctors — and mounting evidence that the actual death toll is far higher than officially reported.”

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Twitter takes down tweets from MP, MLA, Editor criticizing handling of pandemic upon government request- Medianama

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru

Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticized India’s handling of the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. These tweets, which are now inaccessible to Indian users of the social media website, include posts by Revanth Reddy, a sitting Member of Parliament; Moloy Ghatak, a West Bengal state minister; actor Vineet Kumar Singh; and two filmmakers, Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das.” 

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Six patients die at Amritsar hospital due to oxygen shortage- The Wire

By Press Trust of India

“Six patients died at a private hospital due to the shortage of oxygen, hospital authorities said. 5 of the 6 patients were infected with COVID-19, they said. “Despite the district administration being repeatedly asked to extend help, no one turned up to do the needful,” Sunil Devgan, the chairman and managing director of Neelkant hospital, alleged.”

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At government request, twitter takes down some tweets critical of official COVID-19 handlingThe Wire

By The Wire

“Twitter has withheld from public view around 50 tweets in India, a good chunk of which criticized the manner in which the Narendra Modi government has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. India is currently in the midst of a brutal ‘second wave’, with daily infections passing 300,000, and the total number of daily deaths running over 2,000.”

*

“A government officials “advisory”, breezily addressed to “All Social media platforms”, is all it takes for Twitter India to summarily suspend handles—without assigning a reason and without pointing to the content that “Big Brother” has a problem with.”

Source: Churumuri

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Oxygen shortage | 20 COVID-19 patients die in Delhi’s Jaipur Golden HospitalThe Hindu

By The Hindu

“As many as 20 critically-ill COVID-19 patients died at Jaipur Golden Hospital in the national capital on 23 April night due to low oxygen supply. On the morning of 24 April, the hospital had oxygen for only 45 minutes and they sought urgent government help.”

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VIDEO: “Day after day the staff works here, knowing full well that if their families get sick, even they will struggle to find medical care. There is helplessness and anger. Report by @yogital

By Mohammad Zubair

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“Will hang that man”: High Court on anyone obstructing oxygen supplyNDTV

By Arvind Gunasekar

“If anyone obstructs oxygen supply, “we will hang that man”, the Delhi High Court reportedly said today as it heard a hospital’s petition over shortage of oxygen for seriously-ill Covid patients. The court termed the massive rise in cases as a Tsunami.”

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“As per Gujarat Samachar report, 100 people died in the last 24 hours due to COVID-19 in Vadodara alone. Government’s official figure is 9.”

Source: Mehul Devkala

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Gurgaon Max hospital SOS: ‘Only 2 hours of oxygen left’Indian Express

By Sakshi Dayal  

“A day after Gurgaon’s Artemis Hospital put out an SOS tweet stating they had only 3 hours of oxygen left for their patients, another private hospital in Gurgaon, Max Hospital, has put out a similar message on the social media platform today, stating it has less than 2 hours of oxygen supply left and appealed for help.” 

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‘Unfolding disaster’: How foreign media is covering India’s COVID-19 crisisNewslaundry

By Newslaundry

“As the pandemic continues to batter India, exposing its collapsing healthcare system, the international media is sounding alarm, and conveying the utter desperation of the situation in a way that the Indian mainstream media has largely failed to do.”

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Bengal: ECI slaps FIRs, show cause notices against candidates violating COVID-19 normsThe Wire

By The Wire

“The Election Commission of India (ECI) till Friday lodged First Information Reports (FIR) against 13 candidates for allegedly violating COVID-19 safety protocols and issued show cause notices to 33 others contesting the West Bengal assembly elections in the remaining seventh and eighth phases for the same reason, an official said.”

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Hospital to crematorium: A teenage COVID-19 victim’s last journeyNewslaundry

By Supriti David

“A young woman sees my press card and walks over. Her sister was admitted three days ago, she says, and she and her brother-in-law have been waiting outside since. Why are they waiting, I ask, they won’t be allowed in to see her? “In case she needs anything,” she replies. “What if they run out of oxygen and we have to get it for her at a moment’s notice?” ” 

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COVID-19 patients struggle to get into Ahmedabad hospitals even as bodies keep coming outThe Caravan

By Chahat Rana

“On the night of 17 April, Jadiben Chunnilal rushed her 60-year-old husband, Chunnilal, to the trauma center of Ahmedabad’s Sheth Vadilal Sarabhai General Hospital in an autorickshaw. As she and her son struggled to move Chunnilal to a stretcher, security guards outside the trauma centre surrounded them and refused them entrance. “This is a COVID-19 hospital, you will have to find a bed elsewhere,” the guard told them.” 

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Friday 23 April 2021 

As bodies pile up, India’s leaders face rising public anger over second COVID-19 waveCNN

By Jessie Yeung, Manveena Suri and Swati Gupta

“As the curve shows no sign of flattening, people of India have been forced to wonder where the nation’s leaders are. While many state governments and local authorities had flagged the risk of a second wave and begun preparations, the vacuum of leadership in the central government became clear as the Prime Minister retained his silence on the situation until a few weeks ago. Public anger seems to spilling online with hashtags like #ResignModi, #SuperSpreaderModi, and #WhoFailedIndia. Suffering on the ground continues as people find it hard to find beds and oxygen, and are left to wonder what the Government was doing for a year.”

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Now hunger stalks India as country’s COVID-19 crisis deepens The Telegraph 

By Joe Wallen

“As the second wave surges, economic precarity is leaving millions in the country hungry.  The draconian two-month lockdown from March to June last year pushed an estimated 400 million Indians into further poverty and resulted in around 32 million Indians dropping out of the country’s burgeoning middle-class. Migrant workers, left without a security net last year, have been unable to recuperate the losses. Pavements are suddenly lining up with people looking for food, with one poll suggesting there has been a 50 per cent increase in people requesting food aid in the city since the latest lockdown began.”

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VIDEO: “Dead bodies of COVID-19 patients being cremated at a crematorium in Lucknow, India.” 

By Ashutosh Tripathi

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“There were few crucial weeks in February and March when cases were just starting to rise. Let’s zoom in on these 4 weeks and see how the early signals were missed, valuable time was lost and Indians were led to believe that they were immune to COVID-19.​​​​​​​”

By SamSays

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The Guardian view on Modi’s mistakes: A pandemic that is out of controlThe Guardian

By Katherine Viner and Randeep Ramesh

“Squaring responsibility on the the state governments to clear the mess, Prime Minister Modi is deflecting from a disaster of his own making. From continual rallies despite rising cases, to unpreparedness in terms of vaccine roll out. Advice of epidemiologists has been ignored by the administration from the beginning.”

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Uttar Pradesh’s COVID-19 victims have been left to fend for themselvesThe Wire

By Sharat Pradhan

“Oxygen shortages in Uttar Pradesh abound as hospitals struggle to keep patients alive and black marketing continues ceaselessly across the state. Instead of creating state regulated outlets, the Chief Minister resorted to only give verbal threats to black marketeers. Undue efforts of some mandarins to falsely project low counts have not helped as crematoriums, cremation grounds and graveyards are overflowing with bodies of those who were unable to arm themselves to battle it out with the deadly virus. Fudging of data becomes clear as crematoriums report over a 100 deaths on a day when the official toll reported only 21 deaths in Lucknow.” 

​*

“The biggest news from Gujarat is that in less than a week, recovery rate in Gujarat has dropped by over 10 percent. This is scary. Gujarat COVID-19 figures on 23 April are 13,804 news cases and 142 deaths in the last 24 hours. Detailed communique attached.”

Source:  Deepal Trivedi

​*

On the road, again: Migrant laborers are leaving cities as COVID-19 disrupts work The Caravan 

Video by Shahid Tantray

“After a horrifying exodus without any social safety nets, migrant workers find themselves in precarious positions once again as the second wave surges.” ​​​​​​​

​*

In Uttar Pradesh, oxygen is now exclusive for hospitals. Patients in home isolation not getting any The Print 

By Jyoti Yadav and Prashant Srivastava 

“An order passed by Yogi Adityanath govt on 21 April prohibits the supply of oxygen to individuals, “except for those in serious conditions”. While allegedly done to prevent black marketing, the order has led to helplessness and anger on the streets as people are unable to find oxygen for ailing family members. This has further led to policing of people trying to source supply, with Zafar Abbas being arrested after taking a cylinder for his father, spending nearly seven hours in the local police station.”

​*

Delhi crematoriums operate at maximum level to keep up with rising deathsClarion India

By Manu Singhvi

“With a rising number of cases, Delhi crematoriums have had to revise their cremation capacity 3 times in the last 2 weeks, many crematoriums even having to double their capacity.” 

​*

COVID-19 fallout? Gujarati papers are filling up with obituariesNewslaundry

By Newslaundry

“As deaths from COVID-19 mount in Gujarat, newspapers are filling up with obituaries. The state reported 13,105 new coronavirus infections and 137 deaths on 22 April but it’s widely suspected to be undercounting them. A look at the Rajkot editions of 2 leading Gujarati papers on Friday only reinforces the suspicion: 8 of the 20 pages of Sandesh and 4 of Divya Bhaskar’s 14 pages are dedicated to obituaries. Yet, Rajkot has reported a total of 354 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began last year. “

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Kin drags patient on stretcher while carrying his oxygen cylinder- The Quint

By Maaz Hasan

Video Edit by  Mohd. Irshad Alam

“Frightening visuals from this week as kin of patients had to drag oxygen cylinders while aiding ailing patients. While many couldn’t find proper hospitalization or care, others accused the hospitals of medical negligence which led to untimely deaths, while hospitals allege that there is no oxygen shortage and the hospital is functioning properly.”

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Oxygen shortage : Hospitals should first approach GNCTD nodal officer, says Delhi High CourtLive Law India

By Shreya Agarwal

“With 2 more hospitals moving the Delhi High Court for medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients citing shortage, the court today directed that the hospitals and nursing homes must exercise the option of approaching the Nodal Officer of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi before approaching the Court – even as the Delhi Government alleged that red tape-ism was being practiced by the Central Government in dealing with the issue. An advocate appearing for one of the hospitals later said the Nodal Officer has not picked up the call.”

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Through live telecast of PM meet, Kejriwal wanted to publicly convey Delhi’s grim COVID-19 situation – Newslaundry

By Ayush Tiwari

“The chief minister’s address did not sit well with unnamed “government sources” who later told ANI that Kejriwal had “descended to a new low” and his monologue “was not meant for any solution but for playing politics and evading responsibility.” “

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India’s giant second wave is a disaster for it and the world: The government’s distraction and complacency have amplified the surge- The Economist 

By The Economist

“While India had hoped to be the world’s vaccine supplier, the second wave has affected supplies to vaccines across the world. The Serum Institute, which manufactures AstraZeneca, has defaulted on commitments to Britain, the European Union and COVAX. With a shoddy track record for accountability, Modi’s rallies in the Bengal elections aggravated the spread of the disease. The vaccine policy was not geared to serve a large population and the current rate of vaccinations remains insufficient in the face of the catastrophe.”

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Centre failed to anticipate second COVID-19 wave despite warning signals: ResearcherTelegraph India

By G.S. Mudur

“Despite big indications from research and notes of caution expressed by experts, the center failed to anticipate the second wave and omitted to take steps that could’ve mitigated the devastation. Emphasizing that undue blame cannot be accorded to public behavior, it was the political leaders and the experts guiding them who could not translate data into cautionary messages as super spreader events like rallies and Kumbh continued. A health expert, requesting anonymity, said “this is not a government that tolerates dissent. If the experts don’t tolerate (the official) line, they’d be out. The buck stops with whoever is elected.” “

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Indian Government used faulty data to claim few infections post COVID-19 vaccination – Bloomberg Quint

By Rukmini S. 

“The central government has claimed that only 2-4 persons in every 10,000 vaccinated with either of the two COVID-19 vaccines being used in India are seeing breakthrough infections, when a vaccinated person gets infected. However, this is based on incomplete data. For nearly 3 months after vaccination began, the government’s COVID-19 test form, used by both government and private laboratories, did not check if those being tested had been vaccinated. Cases of post-vaccination infection would therefore not have been detected and recorded, our ground investigation and review of documents shows.”

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A nightmare on repeat: India is running out of oxygen again – BBC

By Janhavee Moole

“Twenty-five families in India’s capital Delhi woke up to the news that someone they loved had died in the city’s Sir Ganga Ram hospital, reportedly because coronavirus patients could not get enough oxygen. The hospital’s medical director said a severe shortfall had slowed the flow of oxygen to 25 of the sickest patients, who needed a high pressure, stable supply.”

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‘This is hell.’ Prime Minister Modi’s failure to lead is deepening India’s COVID-19 crisis – Time 

By Rana Ayyub

“Dr. Jalil Parkar, one of India’s leading pulmonologists, wears his exhaustion on his face. In between treating patients at the COVID-19 intensive care unit of Mumbai’s prestigious Lilavati Hospital, Parkar appears regularly on TV to give updates on the current, devastating second wave of the pandemic that is killing thousands of Indians.” 

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COVID-19 in prisons: Consider shifting undertrials to less crowded correctional homes, Bombay High Court to state – Live Law India

By Sharmeen Hakim 

“In a bid to decongest overcrowded prisons in the state of Maharashtra and therefore prevent the spread of coronavirus in the prisons, the Bombay High Court has directed all the Judicial Magistrates to pass an order on applications seeking transfer of an inmate within 48 hours of the application being filed.”

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Mass cremations begin as India’s capital faces deluge of COVID-19 deaths – Reuters

By Danish Siddiqui

“Delhi resident Nitish Kumar was forced to keep his dead mother’s body at home for nearly two days while he searched for space in the city’s crematoriums – a sign of the deluge of death in India’s capital where coronavirus cases are surging.”

Thursday 22 April 2021  

 (TRIGGER WARNING)

VIDEO: Delhi’s COVID-19 catastrophe: Ground report on Delhi’s COVID-19 catastrophe – BBC 

By Yogita Limaye

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India’s COVID-19 task force did not meet in February, March despite surge, say members – Caravan Magazine

By Vidya Krishnan

“Even as India suffered its most calamitous surge of the pandemic, the country’s national scientific taskforce on COVID-19, which is supposed to advise the central government on its response to the pandemic, did not meet even once during February and March, according to its members.”

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Watch | At Delhi’s crematoriums, the true scale of the COVID-19 tragedy unfolds – The Wire

By Yaqut Ali

“India is in the midst of its second wave of COVID-19, which has seen record numbers of new daily cases and daily deaths due to the viral disease. The Wire‘s Yaqut Ali reports from the Nigambodh crematorium in Delhi, where the true scale of this tragic crisis is evident. Ambulances carrying dead bodies line up as far as the eye can see and people lament that no hospital was able to provide access to oxygen, leading to the death of their relatives and friends.”

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‘Centre found napping’: Leading dailies slam government’s response to COVID-19 second wave – The Wire

By The Wire

“As India’s COVID-19 crisis deepens with a mad scramble for hospital beds, essential drugs and medical oxygen being reported from across the country, leading English newspapers in their editorials have highlighted how the Central and state governments have failed spectacularly in ramping up health infrastructure after India saw a dip in the number of cases towards the end of last year.”

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‘System has collapsed’: Global media minces no words on India’s COVID-19 crisis –  The Wire

By The Wire

“India has hit the grave milestone of the highest ever single-day spike in COVID-19 cases in the world since the pandemic began, and the world appears to have taken note, not just of the numbers but the crises that have accompanied them. News outlets across the world have focused pieces – ranging from op-eds to detailed reports – on India’s situation and the lack of governance in key aspects that led to it.”

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How the Modi government overestimated India’s capacity to make COVID-19 vaccines – The Wire Science 

By Neeta Sanghi

“The total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world stood at  928.68 million on 20 April 2021, according to Our World in Data. India had administered 127.13 million doses, behind only the US, with 213.39 million, and China, 195.02 million. Some 40 percent of the US population, versus only 8 percent of the Indian population, had received at least one dose.”

*

“More than 300,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours in India, some hospitals overwhelmed, COVID-19-related deaths jump a record 2,104 (and that’s just those identified and counted). Meanwhile, print newspaper front pages.”

By Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Image from Karthik Srinivasan

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“Total number of vaccines provided by the union government to each state up to 14 April 2021. Information received through Right to Information (RTI) filed by Commodore Lokesh Batra” 

By Nitin Sethi

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With over 0.315 million new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, India creates a global record – The Wire

By The Wire

“India’s reporting of 0.315 million new cases in the last 24 hours is the highest for any country in the history of the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth in the number of cases remains exponential. However, the fountainhead of cases may be shifting out of Maharashtra: the state is still reporting a five-digit number of new cases every day, but the seven-day rolling average of its active cases has been negative on nine days since 8 April.”

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55 percent of COVID-19 patients in India had to use connections to get ICU beds: Survey – The Swaddle

By Devrupa Rakshit

“More than half of COVID-19 patients in India were forced to use their social clout and connections to secure ICU beds for treatment, a new survey has found. Conducted by Local Circles, the survey received more than 17,000 responses and encompassed 309 districts across the country.”

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‘If you don’t take action, we will’: Calcutta HC raps Election Commission for ‘handling’ of West Bengal polls amid COVID-19 surge – The Free Press Journal 

By The Free Press Journal

“Calcutta High Court observed that the Election Commission (EC) is “not doing enough” to control the spread of the virus in West Bengal during the state Assembly polls which is being held in eight phases. The Court said that “The EC is empowered to act, but what is it doing about polls in these COVID-19 times? The EC is just passing circulars and leaving it to the people. But the EC has implementing authority.””

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How grave is India’s oxygen emergency? Worse than the government admits – Scroll.in

By Arunabh Saikia

“On 22 April, major hospitals in the national capital nearly ran out of oxygen for the third consecutive day. Oxygen cylinders were looted in a Madhya Pradesh town. Uttar Pradesh put restrictions on individual purchase of oxygen cylinders at a time when breathless COVID-19 patients have been unable to find hospital beds. An oxygen leakage in Maharashtra left 22 patients dead. States traded charges over oxygen blockades.”

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India’s COVID-19 shortages spur black market for drugs, oxygen- Yahoo!News

By Ammu Kannampilly, Abhaya Srivastava and Uzair Rizvi 

“Dire medicine and oxygen shortages as India battles a ferocious new COVID-19 wave mean boom times for profit gougers, although some young volunteers are doing their best to help people on Twitter and Instagram. In the eastern city of Patna, Pranay Punj ran from one pharmacy to another in a frantic search for the antiviral medication remdesivir for his seriously ill mother.”

*

Coronavirus: Why is India suffering fastest pace of infections?- Independent

By Samuel Osborne

“India is suffering the world’s fastest pace of coronavirus infection and the highest daily increase in cases, pushing it further into a deadly health care crisis. The country of nearly 1.4 billion people has confirmed 15.9 million cases of infection, the second highest after the United States, and 184,657 deaths. While some 2.7 million doses are given daily, that still accounts for less than 10 percent of people who have gotten their first shot.”

*

India sets a global record for daily infections – The New York Times 

By Shashank Bengali

“As cases worldwide reach weekly records, a substantial proportion of the new infections are coming from India, a sobering reminder that the pandemic is far from over, even as infections decline and vaccinations speed ahead in the United States and other wealthy parts of the world.”

Wednesday 21 April 2021  

India exported nearly 9,300 metric tonnes of oxygen in FY21 despite pandemic rolling on – News18 

By News18

“With the supply of oxygen low across the country and state government demanding more supply from the Centre, official data shows that nearly 9,294 metric tonnes (MT) of Oxygen was exported by India in just the first three quarters of the 2020-21 financial year.”

*

For India’s poor, lockdown policing adds to pandemic hardships – Al Jazeera

By Al Jazeera

“Poor Indians are bearing the brunt of pandemic policing as the country struggles to contain a deadly second wave of COVID-19 cases by imposing stricter curfew rules and curbs on movement, rights have advocates said. Hawkers, slum dwellers, food couriers and migrant workers are most likely to fall foul of lockdown rules – from fines for failing to wear a face mask or being out in the street to having roadside stalls closed down, according to unions and activists.”

*

‘We will eat sookhi roti and namak, but at least we will be home’ – Gaon Connection

By Arvind Shukla

“Tired, hungry, thirsty and anxious men and women clutching wailing children and hastily packed bags, got off packed buses, at the Kaiserbagh bus depot in Lucknow. They were returning from Delhi where a weeklong lockdown, announced by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, came into force last night at 10 pm and will continue up to 5 am on Monday 26 April.”

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For Mumbai’s poor, it could be a second wave of hunger: A loss of daily wages due to COVID-19 restrictions leaves the urban poor dependent on charity – The News Minute

By Kavitha Iyer

“As a ferocious second wave of COVID-19 in Maharashtra forced another round of closures, mini-lockdowns in various districts and then lockdown-like curbs from 14 April, pleas for help have begun to slowly trickle in, mainly from those who depend on daily earnings for food and survival. On 20 April, Maharashtra recorded 62097 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of cases to 39,60,359, with a mortality rate of 1.56 percent, higher than the all-India mortality rate of 1.18 percent.”

*

24 COVID-19 patients dead after oxygen leakage in Nashik – The Telegraph

By The Telegraph

“At least 24 COVID-19 patients on ventilator support died on 21 April due to an interrupted supply of medical oxygen at a civic-run hospital at Nashik in Maharashtra caused by the leakage of the gas from a storage plant, officials said. A senior civic official said of the 150 patients admitted to the hospital, 23 were on ventilator support at the time of the incident while the rest were on oxygen support.”

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VIDEO: “Outside Shardaben hospital in Ahmedabad, a mother is sitting on the road with her COVID-19 positive son, as the hospital staff refuses to let them in. The guidelines state that entry can’t be allowed unless the patient comes in a 108 ambulance.” 

By Pratik Sinha 

*

‘The system has collapsed’: India’s descent into COVID-19 hell – The Guardian 

By Hannah Ellis-Petersen

“The country has descended into a tragedy of unprecedented proportions. Almost 1.6 million cases have been registered in a week, bringing total cases to more than 15 million. In the space of just 12 days, the COVID-19 positivity rate doubled to 17 percent, while in Delhi it hit 30 percent. Hospitals across the country have filled to capacity but this time it is predominantly the young taking up the beds; in Delhi, 65 percent of cases are under 40 years old.”

*

India’s plan to fragment the vaccine market across the states is mind-bogglingly bad economics – Scroll.in

By Ashish Kulkarni and Murali Neelakantan

“Vaccine manufacturers will now be able to play off one Indian state against the other. The rich will get their vaccines, at the cost of the poor. Consider this simple question: what did the government actually get for INR 45 billion? What is the opportunity cost of the grant given to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech when there were many perfectly viable, legal alternatives?”

*

VIDEO: “A COVID-19 patient calls his son and says that he is going to die as there is no one in the COVID-19 ward to take care of him in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur Medical College. His son was not allowed to meet him or even make a video call. This is what his son says after his death.” 

By Kanwardeep Singh

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India’s devastating second wave: ‘It is much worse this time’ – Financial Times

By Benjamin Parkin, Jyotsna Singh, Stephanie Findlay and John Burn-Murdoch

“Every night funeral pyres blaze on the banks of the Ganges, a grim symbol of the ferocious COVID-19 wave sparking a health crisis and human tragedy in India that is far surpassing anything seen last year. Patients are dying while their families search in vain for hospital beds. Supplies of oxygen and medicines are running low, leading to robberies of drugs from hospitals. Crematoriums and burial grounds cannot cope with the sheer number of corpses.”

*

In Bengaluru, volunteers are stepping up to help overburdened government helplines – The News Minute

By Prajwal Manipal

“Teams managing helplines in Bengaluru are fielding hundreds of such requests every day from people looking for oxygen cylinders, medicines like Remdesivir, and access to ambulances and hospital beds. One of Saqib’s colleagues, Ekramulla Sharieff, also connected to the Emergency Response Team, says the 14 volunteers managing their helplines received 1,600 phone calls on Monday alone. “Most of the calls were people desperately looking for oxygen cylinders or hospital beds and in some cases the oxygen saturation levels were below 85,” Ekramulla says.”

*

Ventilator shortage: ‘Make in India’ devices not picked up by government – Business Standard

By Arindam Majumder, Twesh MishraShreya Jai and Shivani Shinde

“As India battles the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, several state governments are grappling with a shortage of ventilators, primarily because domestic manufacturing and supply of ventilators dwindled after the initial push by the Center last year. With hospitals unwilling to take ‘Made in India’ ventilators, the government curtailed the requirement it had originally envisaged in 2020.”

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Vinay Srivastava’s death shows Uttar Pradesh’s healthcare system has collapsed – Newslaundry

By Akanksha Kumar and Martand Singh

“In a series of tweets, Vinay, 65, a journalist of 35 years, noted that his oxygen level was falling precipitously and begged for help to get admitted in a hospital, including from chief minister Adityanath. The help never came and he soon died. His death, almost live tweeted, exposed the collapse of Uttar Pradesh’s healthcare system and the callousness of its functionaries.”

*

Indian journalist Siddique Kappan hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 – Committee to Protect Journalists 

By Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

“Kappan collapsed in the Mathura Jail on 20 April, where he is held pending trial, and today he tested positive for COVID-19, according to news reports and Wills Matthew, Kappan’s lawyer, who spoke with CPJ in a phone interview. Kappan has a high fever and has been admitted to K.M. Medical College, a privately run hospital in the city of Mathura, where he remains in state custody, Mathews told CPJ.”

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Reporter’s Diary: My oxygen level is 52, My oxygen level is 31… a timeline of Vinay Srivastava’s death of COVID-19- Goan Connection

By Mithilesh Dhar Dubey

“Senior independent journalist Vinay Srivastava of Lucknow took to Twitter to give a minute-by-minute account of his fast-deteriorating health and declining oxygen levels and plead for medical help, while the government system kept pressing him for more information.”

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Disruption in oxygen supply kills 22 COVID-19 patients in India- Al Jazeera

By Al Jazeera

“Disruption in the supply of medical oxygen has killed at least 22 patients in a hospital in western India’s Maharashtra state, officials have said. Suraj Mandhare, an official in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, said an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital in the city, halting its supply for about half an hour. He said the supply of oxygen has since resumed to other patients.”

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Uttar Pradesh’s unprepared district hospitals now frontline as Lucknow turns away COVID-19 patients- The Print 

By Jyoti Yadav

“Uttar Pradesh districts adjoining the capital city of Lucknow are battling a double crisis — an already stretched medical infrastructure pushed beyond limits amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional burden of patients streaming in from Lucknow after being unable to find hospital beds in the city. However, district hospitals too are turning them away, either due to unavailability of beds or because hospitals are saving them for local residents.”

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How Kerala is managing its medical oxygen supply- The News Minute

By Sreedevi Jayarajan 

“As several states in India are facing acute shortage of medical oxygen in the second wave of the pandemic, Kerala has reported a surplus of medical oxygen stock. In the past week, Kerala sent medical oxygen tankers to Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, to meet the demands of their hospitals which are filling up with COVID-19 patients.”

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VIDEO: “COVID-19 patients are seen sleeping on streets and pavements outside hospitals, begging the medical authorities to treat them out in the open in Karnatakas’s Bidar. This happened after the hospital experienced a severe bed shortage and could not accommodate them.”

By Mirror Now

Tuesday 20 April 2021  

Non-stop cremations cast doubt on India’s counting of COVID dead- Reuters

By Alasdair Pal

“Gas and firewood furnaces at a crematorium in the western Indian state of Gujarat have been running so long without a break during the COVID-19 pandemic that metal parts have begun to melt. “We are working around the clock at 100 percent capacity to cremate bodies on time,” Kamlesh Sailor, the president of the trust that runs the crematorium in the diamond-polishing city of Surat, told Reuters.”

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India’s decision to liberalise vaccine sales likely to push up prices – and block access to millions Scroll.in 

By R. Ramakumar

“Despite being fully aware of a potential vaccine shortage, the union government had held back permissions for new vaccines, such as the Sputnik V, to be used in India. Instead, it relied disproportionately on the ability of two private companies – the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech – to ramp up their production capacities.”

*

Hope and heartbreak on Indian COVID twitter – Bloomberg Quint 

By Priya Ramani

“On 18 April, Press Trust of India reported that Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) registered its highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases and fatalities—30,596 and 129 respectively. As Twitter burned with images of cremations in U.P., and as the administration in Ghaziabad began constructing funeral platforms on pavements, everybody knew these fatalities were a gross underestimation.”

*

Kumbh 2021: Astrology, mortality and the indifference to life of leaders and stars – The Wire

By Shuddhabrata Sengupta

“The last Kumbh Mela was in 2010. The actual due date for the Kumbh was 2022, not 2021. So why did the Government of India and the Government of Uttarakhand not cancel the event? Because the center and state chose to appease astrologers rather than look after public health.”

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COVID-19: Crematoria, graveyards running out of space in Bhopal – Newsclick 

By Kashif Kakvi

“Nearly 1,000 bodies have been disposed of with COVID-19 protocols in April so far in Bhopal. Yet, the Madhya Pradesh government data says less than 50 people have died in the period.”

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India’s Modi scorned over reckless rallies, religious gathering amid virus mayhem – Reuters

By Krishna Das and Aftab Ahmed

“India is currently recording more new cases of coronavirus than any other country, and this week it is expected to rise above the high tide of the epidemic seen in the United States. Yet Modi and his ministers have campaigned heavily ahead of state elections.”

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Twitter is a COVID helpline now. What does it say about India’s healthcare systems? – Newslaundry

By Tanishka Sodhi

“As coronavirus infections surge, people are increasingly turning to social media for emergency help. “It says a lot about the condition of this country if people have to beg for medicines or beds on a social media app.””

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India’s second COVID wave is completely out of control – The New York Times 

By Ramanan Laxminarayan

“Complacency and lack of preparation by the Indian government pushed the country into an unprecedented crisis. A lethal, fast-paced second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has brought India’s health care systems to the verge of collapse and is putting millions of lives and livelihoods at risk.”

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As cases peaked, 22 states/UTs’ COVID vaccination rates fell – IndiaSpend

By Shreya Raman

“Over the last week, India administered about 2.7 million doses on average per day, down from 3.6 million during the previous week. The new vaccination policy shifts the monetary burden of vaccinating under-45s on to state governments, who must now also compete with private buyers for purchase of scarce vaccine doses, whose prices manufacturers are now free to raise.”

*

Key virus strain found in October but its gene study stalled; a new variety appears – The Indian Express 

By Amitabh Sinha and Kaunain Sheriff M

“A third mutation in the B.1.167 has been identified and experts are hoping that this time, given the alarm bells ringing all around, the pace of intervention and follow-up picks up. The Indian-origin double mutant strain of the coronavirus, B.1.167, that many experts say could be behind the rapid climb of the second COVID-19 wave, was first detected way back on 5 October last year through genome sequencing of a virus sample.”

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Criticism over export of COVID-19 vaccines rejected by Jaishankar. He said that those criticising the export of vaccines are short-sighted and irresponsibleThe Wire 

By Press Trust of India (PTI)

“External affairs minister S. Jaishankar strongly rejected criticism over India’s export of COVID-19 vaccines, saying there were global commitments for a variety of reasons including the procurement of raw materials for production of the jabs.”

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India is seeing a terrifying second wave of COVID-19: As families beg for help on social media, the government plays politics Foreign Policy

By Kunal Purohit

“India is hurtling toward a health emergency. Many of the top hospitals in New Delhi said that they had only a few hours of oxygen supplies left, even as the city recorded over 28,000 fresh infections and 277 deaths in one day. There have been nearly 1 million new recorded cases in the previous four days. India now has the highest number of daily coronavirus infections in the world.”

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Aadhaar-based facial authentication to be used for India’s vaccination drive, not facial recognition: Infosys chairman Nandan NilekaniMoneycontrol

By Swathi Moorthy

“What will be used is facial authentication where they compare your photograph with your Aadhaar number. It is no different than fingerprint authentication, iris or OTP (one time password) authentication. Now we have to aim for 5-10 million vaccines a day and hence the transaction time is very important.”

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Revoke my suspension, let me serve COVID patients: Kafeel Khan to Uttar Pradesh government – Hindustan Times

By Rajesh Kumar Singh

“Doctor Kafeel Khan was suspended after he was accused of medical negligence during the August 2017 oxygen shortage tragedy that resulted in the deaths of children at BRD Medical College.”

*

No place for you’: Indian hospitals buckle amid virus surge AP News

By Aniruddha Ghosal and Neha Mehrotra

“Tests are delayed. Medical oxygen is scarce. Hospitals are understaffed and overflowing. Intensive care units are full. Nearly all ventilators are in use, and the dead are piling up at crematoriums and graveyards. India recorded over 250,000 new infections and over 1,700 deaths in 24 hours, and the United Kingdom announced a travel ban on most visitors from the country. Overall, India has reported more than 15 million cases and some 180,000 deaths — and experts say these numbers are likely undercounted.”

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Bus ferrying migrants from Delhi to Tikamgarh overturns, 3 dead – The Quint

By The Quint 

“On Tuesday 20 April, a bus ferrying laborers from Delhi to Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh overturned at Jhorasi ghati in Gwalior district, The Indian Express reported. At least three people have been declared dead and seven are reportedly injured in the incident.”

Monday 19 April 2021

Vadodara BJP leaders object to Muslim volunteers at crematoriumThe Indian Express

By Aditi Raja

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Vadodara, Muslim volunteers have been at the forefront of performing COVID-19 cremations in cases where families of the deceased have refused to come along or been unable to join due to quarantine.”

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India struggles with COVID-19 count, bed shortage but political rallies continue – Deccan Herald

By Reuters, Bengaluru

“India’s daily COVID-19 cases jumped by a record 273,810 on Monday as the health system crumbled under the weight of patients, bringing total infections closer to that of the United States, the world’s worst-hit country. Despite soaring infections, politicians continued to hold mass rallies across the country for state elections.”

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COVID-19: How India failed to prevent a deadly second waveBBC

By Soutik Biswas

“India is now in the grips of a public health emergency. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe the world’s richest cricket tournament was being played and tens of thousands were following leaders to election rallies and attending the Kumbh Mela.”

*

Telangana downplays COVID-19 cases again, this time by 66 percent – The New Indian Express 

By Express News Service

“The actual number of COVID-19 cases in Telangana could be twice that of the numbers dished out by the state government in its daily media bulletin. The number of cases reported by district-level health officials is being drastically slashed by the Government before announcing it to the media.”

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In Hyderabad, desperation and distress as hundreds queue up to buy remdesivir The News Minute

By Mithun MK

“With a shortage of Remdesivir in Telangana, many traveled from other districts to purchase the vials in Hyderabad.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has left more than 3 million dead around the world. Cases are rising rapidly. In India, this surge is not a wave but a wall – The Washington Post

By Joanna Slater

“More than a year after the pandemic began, infections worldwide have surpassed their previous peak. The average number of coronavirus cases reported each day is now higher than it has ever been. “Cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates,” said World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.”

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Government has not procured ventilators ordered from industry: Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava – CNBC TV18

By CNBC TV18

“The Maruti Suzuki Chairman said that the Government has not procured ventilators that were ordered from the industry in general. Maruti had manufactured ventilators in collaboration with AgVAHealthcare, and these were yet to be procured.”

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Nine things BJP leaders said recently about the pandemic – but shouldn’t have The Wire

By Jahnavi Sen

“Time may have passed, but our leaders’ understanding of how this virus spreads and what measures need to be taken to curb it does not seem to be benefiting from science, the experiences before them or even common sense. Making remarks ranging from flippant and insensitive to downright dangerous, BJP leaders have led the pack on “what not to say in the middle of a pandemic.””

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has announced a week-long curfew in Delhi which comes into force from tonight Gaon Connection 

By Amit Pandey

“The announcement of a week-long curfew in Delhi is causing panic and making migrant workers look for transport to rush back to their villages.”

Sunday 18 April 2021 

Why Lucknow, UP’s top district in vaccinations, lost its edge during and after ‘Tika Utsav’ – The Print

 By Jyoti Yadav

“On 5 April, Lucknow recorded around 18,000 vaccinations in a day. Ten days later, on 15 April, the day after the end of the ‘Tika Utsav’, the number was down to 8,907. Once the best performing district in Uttar Pradesh in terms of vaccination, state capital Lucknow registered a drastic decline in COVID-19 immunisation numbers during and since the four-day ‘Tika Utsav’ between 11 and 14 April.” 

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India is running out of oxygen, COVID-19 patients are dying because the Government wasted timeScroll.in

By Vijayta Lalwani and Arunabh Saikia

“It took eight months to invite bids for over 150 oxygen generation plants costing just INR 200 billion. Six months later, most still aren’t up and running.”

 *

In Ghaziabad and other districts, data on the ground disproves Uttar Pradesh’s “zero COVID-19 deaths” claim – The Wire

By Ismat Ara

“The Uttar Pradesh government is massively undercounting COVID-19 deaths in the state. The disparities between the UP government’s official death count from COVID-19 in Agra, Bareilly, Ghaziabad and Jhansi and what cremation ground officials are saying is huge.”

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COVID-19 deaths in Gujarat far exceed government figures – The Hindu

By Mahesh Langa

“In Gujarat, there are several such cases of COVID-19 patients missing from the list of those infected as hospital authorities mention other conditions as the primary cause of death and not COVID-19.”

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From the Kumbh to Ramzan, contrasting court orders in COVID-19 times – The Wire

By Purushottam Anand and Anshuman Singh

“While the Bombay High Court said public health cannot be sacrificed at the altar of a right to observe a festival like Ramadan, and the Delhi High Court permitted only 50 devotees to pray at a mosque, the Uttarakhand High Court didn’t even consider the possibility that the Kumbh could be called off.”

*

Oxygen shortage rings alarm bells at Delhi’s hospitalsThe Indian Express

By Astha Saxena and Mallica Joshi

“There are 17,752 beds for COVID-19 patients in the capital, out of which 2,824 are available. On the other hand, of the 4,147 ICU beds, only 48 are available. The surge in bed occupancy has meant an increase in the need for uninterrupted oxygen supply.”

*

“Where are ambulances, COVID-19 hospitals?”: Family of Uttar Pradesh journalist who died without treatment The Print 

By Jyoti Yadav

“Hospitals in Uttar Pradesh were not admitting anyone without a reference letter from the Chief Ministers Office, even if they had a COVID-19 positive certificate.”

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Young and infected: COVID-19’s new patients as India battles huge surge – Yahoo! News

By Glenda Kwek, Nivrita Ganguly and Nishant Saxena

“At the start of the year, India thought it had beaten the pandemic and had kicked off a mass vaccination drive. Face masks and social distancing were cast aside and huge crowds flocked to religious festivals and election rallies. But in hospitals, doctors started warning of a rise in cases, including a new phenomenon – younger patients for a disease usually viewed as riskier for older adults.”

 *

Maharashtra government vs. the BJP over Remdesivir hoarding –NDTV 

By Purva Chitnis, Edited by Anindita Sanya

“Remdesivir for COVID-19 patients, which is currently in short supply, has become the political flashpoint between the Maharashtra government and the opposition BJP.”

Saturday 17 April 2021

Three hours in an understaffed Bharuch hospital with dying COVID-19 patients – The Caravan

By Chahat Rana 

“Bharuch General Hospital is the largest government-run COVID-19 care center in Gujarat’s Bharuch district. It has 70 beds, most of which are attached to oxygen supply. On 16 April, there was only one doctor at the hospital, a 26-year-old junior resident and five nurses. That day, the hospital had seventy-two patients, almost all of whom had severe COVID-19 symptoms.”

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Varanasi: Cremation, burial grounds show about 50 percent of COVID-19 deaths aren’t officially recorded – The Wire

By Ismat Ara

“An analysis by The Wire based on COVID-19 records at Varanasi’s Harishchandra crematorium, local inputs from the Manikarnika crematorium and rough data from graveyards indicate that at least 50 percent of deaths due to the disease in the second wave haven’t made it to Uttar Pradesh’s official bulletins between 1-15 April 2021.”

*

Gujarat: 34 passengers from Haridwar test COVID-19 positive at Ahmedabad – Times of India

By Himanshu Kaushik 

“At least 11 percent of the 313 passengers tested at the Sabarmati station were tested positive to the coronavirus. These passengers had returned after attending the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.”

Friday 16 April 2021

“Government hospitals in 20 districts of Gujarat do not have a single CT Scan machine, says Gujarat Samachar’s news report. In the last two years, the state government has purchased one CT Scan machine.”

Source: Deepak Patel

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‘Dead bodies all over’: Lucknow funerals tell a story starkly different from Uttar Pradesh government’s claims- The Print

By Jyoti Yadav

“On 15 April, Yogi Adityanath’s government’s health bulletin said Uttar Pradesh recorded 104 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours. But Lucknow alone saw 108 funerals that day, and this was just at crematoriums and not cemeteries.”

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India: migrant workers leave cities as COVID-19 measures bite Al Jazeera

By Al Jazeera

“The Maharashtra government, home to Mumbai, imposed lockdown-like curbs to check the spread of the virus. It closed most industries, businesses and public places and limited the movement of people, but didn’t stop bus, train and air services. An exodus ensued, with panicked day laborers hauling backpacks onto overcrowded trains leaving Mumbai. The migration is raising fears of the virus spreading in rural areas.”

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