Billionaire Uday Kotak says the ‘maximum response’ is needed to cut infection connections as the number of incidents and deaths increases.
A leading Indian industry body has called on authorities to take “the strongest national measures” and reduce economic activity as the country fights a coronavirus case that has overwhelmed the healthcare system.
The rate of new infections dropped slightly on Sunday, but the death toll continued to rise. Authorities reported 399,488 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the total to 19.56 million. The death toll rose to a record 3,3989 and stood at 215,542 overall.
Billionaire Uday Kotak, managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said on Sunday that it would take time to build the healthcare infrastructure and called for “maximum response at the highest level”.
He was speaking on behalf of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), of which he is the President.
“At this critical time when the death toll is rising, the CIA has called for strong national action, including reducing economic activity to reduce accidents,” Kotak said in a statement.
Hospitals are full of capacity, medical oxygen supply has been cut short and morgues and crematoriums have been flooded as countries cope with this increase in cases: more than 300,000 cases daily for more than 10 days.
Concerned about the economic impact of shutting down the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown. At least 11 states and union territories have imposed similar restrictions.
The Indian Express reported on Sunday that the country’s COVID-19 task force had advised the federal government to impose a national lockdown.
The eastern state of Orissa and the northern industrial state of Haryana joined New Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal to become the latest in announcing a new lockdown on Sunday.
Other states including Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have imposed either night curfew or weekend lockdown.
Increase in making
Modi said every effort should be made to avoid the lockdown last month. Compared to the same period a year ago in the April-June quarter of last year, epidemic and economic production fell by a record 24 percent this year, and last year he imposed strict controls on epidemics and economic activity.
The current devastating second wave has also caused a crisis for medical personnel. Kotak said healthcare workers could not cope with the influx of patients, due to increasing pressure that needed to be further strengthened.
International aid is also available.
Countries, including the United States, have provided critical oxygen equipment, treatment, and raw materials for vaccine production. On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic RAB said his country would send more ventilators “soon”.
In March and April, the Modi government was criticized for failing to take steps to curb the spread of religious festivals and public gatherings in five states, with millions of people attending religious festivals and rallies.
A forum of scientific advisers set up by the government warned Indian officials in early March about new and more contagious forms of coronavirus in the country, Reuters news agency reported on Saturday.