India’s COVID-19 Crisis: Fast Facts

With infections surging and oxygen and hospital beds in short supply, India’s COVID-19 crisis is worsening. Here’s what you need to know and how you can help.


1. There are approximately 1 million new COVID-19 cases in India every three days.

India reported 414,188 new coronavirus infections on Friday. Daily cases have topped 300,000 for 16 consecutive days. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India is now more than 21.4 million.
Source: CNN + Reuters

2. More than 234,000 people have died from COVID-19 in India.

That makes it the fourth country to surpass 200,000 coronavirus deaths after the United States, Brazil, and Mexico. But some experts think that’s still an undercount. The estimated death toll on Friday was 3,915, according to data from India’s Ministry of Health.
Source: The New York Times

[You can help people during India’s COVID-19 crisis by donating to GlobalGiving’s India COVID-19 Relief Fund.]


3. Hospitals across India are short on oxygen.

Oxygen is a key treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients, and India now has a greater demand for oxygen than most other countries. To get oxygen supplies to where they’re needed most, the government is using trains, and the Indian Air Force is airlifting oxygen from military bases.
Source: The BBC

4. Critical care beds are scarce.

There is a chronic shortage of space in India’s intensive care wards, and many patients’ families are frantically searching for a bed for them. In Delhi, hospitals are full and turning away new patients—some people are dying on the streets outside.
Source: The BBC

5. New Delhi and Maharashtra have been hard hit.

The capital, New Delhi, and the surrounding Delhi union territory are on lockdown until May 10 as hospitals there are overwhelmed by the surge in new cases. In the western state of Maharashtra, officials have clamped down on public gatherings and transit, with weekend lockdowns in place. Other states reporting the highest active case counts include Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh.
Source: CNN

6. Delhi is reporting one death from COVID-19 every four minutes.

With crematoriums working around the clock and running out of space, makeshift funeral pyres in parks and other areas are accommodating families waiting to cremate their relatives who died from COVID-19.
Source: Reuters

[You can help people during India’s COVID-19 crisis by donating to GlobalGiving’s India COVID-19 Relief Fund.]


7. Less than 2% of India’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

And about 9% of the population has received one dose. The country’s vaccination campaign began in January and sped up in March and early April. But as new COVID-19 cases surged, the number of vaccines administered plummeted. Everyone over the age of 18 is now eligible to register for a vaccine. Yet, despite being the world’s largest vaccine producer, India doesn’t have the stock to inoculate 600 million newly eligible people in addition to high-priority groups.
Source: The New York Times + PBS

8. India accounted for 46% of new COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide last week and one in four deaths.

That’s according to the World Health Organization. And the B.1.617 virus variant detected in India has now spread to at least 17 countries.
Source: Reuters

9. Cash is the best way to help people during India’s COVID-19 crisis.

Why? People’s needs vary by location and throughout the life cycle of recovery. You can learn more about how to help during India’s COVID-19 crisis in this infographic about the importance of cash donations to vetted organizations working in India.
Source: GlobalGiving + USAID Center for International Disaster Information

Provide life-saving relief for people during India’s COVID-19 crisis by supporting vetted international nonprofits working in India.


Featured Photo: COVID-19 Response: Give for Girls by Plan International USA

Note: This article was originally published on April 29, 2021 and updated on May 7, 2021.

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