Covid in India LIVE: 17mil infected as 1 in 2 in Calcutta positive – ‘Wear masks at home!’

India: Dominic Raab pledges to support during 'hour of need'

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Dr VK Paul told a briefing on India’s COVID-19 situation: “If there is Covid-19 positive case in the family, it is very important that the person wears a mask even indoors because the virus can spread to others in the home. I would rather go on to say that the time has come that we start wearing mask at home even otherwise.” Hospitals in India are beyond capacity and oxygen is running out, prompting World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to label the crisis in India as “beyond heartbreaking”. Follow our live blog here for the latest news on India’s fight against coronavirus. All times in BST.

  • India hits new global record for rise in cases for fifth day running
  • 352,991 new daily cases have been recorded, bringing India’s total caseload to 17 million
  • Hospitals in New Delhi and worst-hit states have reported critical shortages of beds and oxygen supplies
  • The US, UK and Germany have offered support

6.12pm update: Every second person in Calcutta testing positive for COVID-19

The Times of India reported on April 25 that one out of every two people taking a RT-PCR test in Calcutta and its suburbs are testing postive for COVID-19.

A doctor working in one of the Covid testing laboratories in the state said the positivity rate was 45 to 55 percent in Calcutta and its surrounding areas.

Covid cases remain high in other parts of the state, with the positive rate standing at 24 percent.

5.47pm – Narendra Modi speaks to Joe Biden

The Indian Prime Minister tweeted: “Had a fruitful conversation with
@POTUS @JoeBiden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail.

“I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India.

“My discussion with @POTUS @JoeBiden also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines.

“India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19.”

5.45pm update: WHO pledges to send oxygen and staff to India as crisis worsens

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has announced extra staff and supplies are being deployed to India to help with the coronavirus crisis.

He told a briefing: “WHO is doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies, including thousands of oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies.”

He said he had already announced 2,600 extra WHO staff members were going to India to help support the effort to fight the disease.

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