India infected 18 million people WHO: fear of underestimating at least 20 times

Bodies of infected victims line up for cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi, April 28, 2021.

Official figures in India show that 360,000 people have been infected with the Communist Party of China virus disease (COVID-19) in the past 24 hours, and 3,293 people have died of the disease, many of whom took their last breath outside hospitals when they could not wait for a bed. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) experts believe that the epidemic in India is seriously underestimated, the actual number of infected people or up to 530 million people.

The number of infections in India is growing explosively, with nearly 6 million more people diagnosed in India this month alone. AFP reports that according to the Ministry of Health, the cumulative number of people diagnosed in India so far is 18 million, and the number of people who have died of the disease has reached 211,187.

Many experts believe the actual number could be higher. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said in an interview with CNN on the 26th that the Indian epidemic is “grossly underestimated” due to limited detection capacity, and that the actual number of infected people may have reached 20 to 30 times the officially reported figure.

If we take Swaminathan’s figure of 20 to 30 times, then the actual number of infected people in India could be around 350 million to 530 million.

Bodies of infected victims line up for cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi on April 28, 2021. (MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Central News Agency (CNA) reports that the outbreak is partly due to the emergence of a new mutated virus and the holding of large-scale political and religious events, and that the influx of patients into hospitals is now causing a severe shortage of beds, medicine and oxygen.

The epidemic is particularly severe in New Delhi, where many patients are dying on the spot outside the hospital because they can’t wait for a bed, and where three patients are often forced to share beds. Clinics around the country have run out of oxygen.

Hospitals without sufficient oxygen supply and beds are refusing to admit infected patients. India has administered 150 million doses of the vaccine since the implementation of the program, but many provinces have warned that local vaccine stocks are insufficient.