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British PM cancels visit as India breaks daily COVID-19 record again
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 04 - 2021

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has canceled his visit to India as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country.
Johnson was due to travel to India next week and hold a key meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India. They will remain in regular contact beyond this, and look forward to meeting in person later this year," a joint statement from the British and Indian governments, released by Downing Street, said on Monday.
India reported 273,810 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a record-high and its fifth consecutive day of more than 200,000 new infections.
The country has reported more than one million cases in the past five days alone.
India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, over 15 million, following the United States with more than 31.66 million patients.
The country's death toll has also increased by over 1,600 fatalities, reaching a total of more than 178,000.
As cases skyrocket, the Indian capital, New Delhi, is facing a severe shortage of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds available for COVID-19 patients. Only 73 beds with ventilators were available in India's capital as of Sunday, according to government documents.
"Patients are getting admitted to hospitals at a fast pace. Especially for ICU beds, there is now a shortage. There are less than 100 ICU beds left across Delhi," Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said during a press conference Sunday.
Indians have gathered en masse this month during the country's month-long Kumbh Mela festival, where hundreds of thousands of people take a dip in the River Ganges.
The massive crowds are causing concern as India struggles to contain a worrying second wave, with cases rising dramatically every day.
India has recorded a total of 15,061,919 cases of coronavirus and 178,769 deaths, according to the health ministry. — Agencies


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