India reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus infections for a 12th straight day on Monday to take its overall number of cases to just shy of 20 million, as scientists predicted a peak in the pandemic in the coming days.
With 368,147 new cases over the past 24 hours, India’s total infections stand at 19.93 million, while total fatalities rose by 3,417 to 218,959, according to health ministry data. Medical experts say actual numbers across the country of 1.35 billion maybe five to 10 times higher than the official tally.
“In my opinion, only a national stay-at-home order and declaring medical emergency will help to address the current healthcare needs,” Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist with the University of Michigan said on Twitter. “The tally of active cases is accumulating, not just the daily new cases. Even the reported numbers state there are around 3.5M active cases.”
International aid has been pouring into India in response to the crisis. Britain will send another 1,000 ventilators to India, the government said on Sunday. Prime ministers Boris Johnson and Modi are scheduled to talk on Tuesday.
The Indian COVID-19 variant has now reached at least 17 countries including Britain, Switzerland and Iran, leading several governments to close their borders to people traveling from India.