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India COVID: Latest cases, predicted peak, as woman reveals dad’s last words

A father’s harrowing last words before he died from COVID are revealed as death predictions in India worsen. WARNING: Distressing images

WARNING: Distressing images

A woman has shared the harrowing last words of her father as he died from coronavirus in India.

The country has set global record daily case numbers as devastating stories and images emerge from the epicenter and its surroundings. New Delhi is now reporting one death every four minutes.

Today is the eight-straight day of record figures, and experts say that’s not likely to stop, as medical supplies dwindle and delayed safety measures have caused strife for containing the spread.

Figures are expected to continue to peak for the next few weeks as cases spiral.

Almost 400,000 new cases were confirmed yesterday, more than 30,000 above the 7-day average. At least 3600 people died in the last 24 hours, taking India’s total COVID-19 chances past 18 million.

“India is still on an upward trajectory where the rate of infection is still moving at high-speed and very horrifying rates at the moment,” ABC’s South Asia correspondent James Oaten said from New Delhi.

Barkha Dutt’s father was among the dead yesterday, with the Washington Post columnist telling CNN he died after the oxygen tank in the ambulance that was rushing him to hospital ran out.

“My father’s last words to me were: ‘I’m choking, please give me treatment’,” she said.

“I have nobody left; I feel alone.”

Ms. Dutt said that despite being an “upper-middle-class Indian who can pay for the best private medical treatment”, the shortage of supplies knew no bounds.

“By the time we reached the hospital, he had to be taken into ICU. He never made it back.”

When the family went to cremate his body, “there was no space,” and there was a “physical fight that erupted between families”.

The spiking body count has overwhelmed crematoriums and graveyards and caused a shortage of wood for funeral pyres.

Ms. Dutt said she met families at cremation grounds where “bodies were lying on the floor”.

Horror prediction, gravediggers work.

Experts suggest current data predicts deaths in India could peak at up to 14,000 a day.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle has predicted that the death toll will continue to rise, peaking at almost 14,000 on May 16.

Director Dr. Christopher Murray warned, “there’s a lot of bad times ahead” for India as infections are close to their peak next week.

The Indian government has been criticized for its lackluster handling of the spread of the virus, with political rallies and religious festivals allowed across the country.

It’s a blow for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who just months ago claimed the country had defeated the virus, and concerns grow about the government’s level of transparency over official figures.

Dr. Murray told CNN the appearance of new COVID-19 variants has increased transmission and meant that people could be reinfected with a new strain. Meanwhile, gravediggers are “working around the clock”, doing 24-hour shifts in Mumbai to bury victims. At the same time, hundreds more were being cremated in parks and car parks in New Delhi that have been converted to crematoriums.

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