India’s new wave of apparent COVID-19 infections is running wild. At the beginning of March, India was recording around 15,000 new positive PCR tests per day. Things started getting worse during the first week of April when new infections jumped to more than 100,000 per day. Over the past two weeks, the country has peaked close to 400,000 new positive tests on April 29 with Coronavirus Disease 2019 associated deaths in excess of 3,500 reported on April 28 and 29.
Media reports say hospitals and crematoriums are now faced with extensive lineups of people waiting to get their symptomatic relatives treated and the dead properly cremated, while some crematoriums are expanding in order to accommodate a reported massive influx of dead bodies.
Death rates, however, are speculated to be severely underreported. British Sky News claims from on the ground reporting to have seen quite a collection of ambulances carrying dead bodies that did not seem to align with the number of reported COVID-19 deaths, ”In Uttar Pradesh, our researchers counted about 25 bodies awaiting funerals at the Hindon crematorium in Ghaziabad and another eight which were lit.”
“Whilst inquiring about the official tally, the person in charge insisted they were dealing with only about six funerals daily on average. When our researcher challenged him on this, he was informed, ‘we’ve been told to give that (lower) number by higher authorities.’,” reads the article.
At present, the death toll in India stands at approximately 208,330 on April 30 according to Our World in Data.
Wealthy Indians are reportedly fleeing the country via private jets to escape the pandemic. Just before travel restrictions were put in place by many countries blocking Indian entry, there was a huge rush of rich families flying off to Dubai and London, according to an article by Indian publication Business Today. A one-way trip to Dubai in a private jet can cost up to $20,000 USD.
The UAE recently placed restrictions on travelers from India. Another favorite destination seems to be the Maldives. However, only a few resort-only islands are now accepting Indian guests.
On April 30, Joe Biden banned most travel from India to the U.S. The ban takes effect on May 4.
Australia had previously banned flights to and from India. The UK now requires British and Irish nationals arriving from India to hotel quarantine. Canada, by the same token, announced a ban on flights from India and Pakistan for a period of 30 days.