Delhi calls for army help amid Covid-19 crisis


The authorities in Delhi have called for help from the army as the city struggles with a catastrophic second wave of Covid-19 cases.


The country has seen more than 300,000 new cases a day for nearly two weeks straight while deaths stand at 220,000.


Hospitals in the city are in crisis, with intensive care beds full and an acute shortage of medical oxygen.


Delhi's government wants the army to run Covid care facilities and intensive care units.


Experts say total Covid cases and deaths in India are likely to be much higher, citing lack of testing and patients dying at home without being seen by doctors.


Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that with healthcare "overwhelmed... it will be a timely help to the people of Delhi if the Ministry of Defence, with the considerable resources at its command, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities".


He also asked for "urgent" help transporting much-needed oxygen.


Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that with healthcare "overwhelmed... it will be a timely help to the people of Delhi if the Ministry of Defence, with the considerable resources at its command, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities".


He also asked for "urgent" help transporting much-needed oxygen.


Meanwhile, India's Covid crisis has been worsened by a slow vaccination campaign.


Despite being the world's biggest producer of vaccines, there is a shortage of supplies. Since January, just over 10% of India's 1.4 billion people have had one dose and only about 2% two doses.