Coronavirus news – live: India court says deaths from lack of oxygen ‘no less than genocide’ as cases top 20m

<p>A health worker pushes a trolley with oxygen cylinders in Siliguri, India, on 4 May, 2021 </p>
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A health worker pushes a trolley with oxygen cylinders in Siliguri, India, on 4 May, 2021

Amid widespread shortages of oxygen in hospitals across several cities in India, a high court has said that the deaths of Covid patients due to the non-supply of oxygen is a criminal act and “not less than a genocide” by those responsible for procuring the supply.

This comes after the number of Covid-19 infections surged past 20 million in the country. India added another 382,000 cases in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning, and reported another 3,780 deaths.

Experts have said that the actual numbers could be higher than the official tally, and have warned of “horrible” weeks ahead.

The Delhi High Court also slammed the Modi government over the oxygen crisis, asking why contempt action should not be initiated against it for not complying with judicial orders to supply oxygen to the national capital.

Facing oxygen shortages, several hospitals in the city have approached the court for help since April.

More states moved on Tuesday to impose restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Bihar announced a lockdown until 15 May after the state recorded 11,407 new Covid-19 cases.


Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live blog covering the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday 5 May.

Akshita Jain5 May 2021 05:23