India, Thailand report record Covid-19 infections

India's tally of more than 13.35 million cases is the third-highest globally.
India's tally of more than 13.35 million cases is the third-highest globally.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI/BANGKOK (REUTERS) - India reported a record 152,879 new Covid-19 cases, health ministry data showed on Sunday (April 11), as a second wave of infections continued to surge and overwhelm hospitals in parts of the country.

The number of new fatalities stood at 839, the most deaths in more than five months, taking the toll to 169,275.

India's tally of more than 13.35 million cases is the third-highest globally, behind only Brazil and the United States.

Meanwhile, Thailand on Sunday reported 967 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day jump, as the country deals with a third wave of infections.

No deaths were reported. The new cases took the total number of infections to 32,625, with deaths remaining at 97, according to the Covid-19 information centre.

 On Saturday, Dr Suksan Kittisupakorn, director-general of Thailand’s Medical Service Department, told reporters that the country was planning to install 10,000 field-hospital beds in Bangkok.

At least a dozen hospitals in the capital said they had stopped testing for Covid-19 as of Friday due to a lack of kits or bed capacity.

Hospitals are reluctant to test because they must admit people if they test positive, the authorities say.

“We aim to increase (field) hospital beds to 10,000 in no time, which should give the public confidence that we can still contain this round of outbreak,” Dr Suksan said.

The current surge appeared to be the country’s worst yet, he said.

The outbreak, which includes the highly transmissible B117 variant first identified in Britain, has rapidly spread to 62 of Thailand’s 77 provinces, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control told a briefing on Saturday.
Thailand’s third wave comes ahead of major national holidays next week and as the country seeks to reopen to foreign tourists.