Army's help sought to combat India's COVID-19 crisis

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Hind Al Soulia – Riyadh – NEW DELHI — The Indian government has invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to the Armed Forces to combat the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, the country’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced on Twitter on Friday.

“These powers will help Formation Commanders to establish and operate quarantine facilities/ hospitals and to undertake procurement/ repair of eqpt/ items/ material/ stores, besides provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing effort against COVID,” he wrote.

India recorded 386,452 COVID-19 cases on Friday, another record daily rise of cases, according to figures from the Indian health ministry.

This is the ninth day in a row the country has added more than 300,000 cases a day, bringing the total number to 18,762,976.

An intensive care unit chief in India said the devastating coronavirus wave in the country is “nothing short of an apocalypse.”

“We’ve had patients being rushed in, almost wards getting filled up overnight, 90 patients in less than 12 hours. The problem with this virus is the second wave is extremely contagious, extremely aggressive, and it is affecting the younger population in a significantly different way than we had not expected,” said Dr. Farah Husain, head of the Covid-19 ICU unit at Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi.

“We are feeling very, very tired. And the fact that we’ve not able to control the numbers is something which is extremely shocking for us,” she said.

Husain said that the health care system has been overwhelmed, and many were not expecting the crush of the second wave.

“It’s like … coronavirus is there in every house,” Husain said.

She encouraged people to get vaccinated when they can to prevent severe sickness and hospitalization.

As the surge grip the whole country, some Indians have been desperately waiting in line for hours or even overnight to obtain oxygen for loved ones suffering from COVID-19 in New Delhi.

There is a growing sense of anger and frustration and desperation as people wait for days on end trying to get their oxygen, trying to help their loved ones to breathe.

The country has started a program to try to deploy liquid oxygen via railways to cities that need it most.

Many have been critical of the government response to COVID-19.

Huge political rallies, weddings, cricket matches and pilgrimages were allowed to take place. — CNN

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