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India’s Super Rich Flee World’s worst COVID outbreak on private jets
BENOIT TESSIEREight London private jets carrying India’s super-rich – and possibly the coronavirus – landed in London at 4 a.m. ahead of the British travel ban from India, according to the London Times. Britain has put India on its “red list” of countries affected by pandemics. Starting Friday, all Brits returning from India will have to be quarantined for 10 days in a government-approved hotel. All non-UK or non-Irish citizens are completely prohibited from entering India if they have been in India in the past 10 days. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to cancel his own state visit to India, which was scheduled for next week, as a “precaution”. The last luxury aircraft, VistaJet Bombardier Global 6000, to leave Dubai on Thursday to pick up passengers in Mumbai, landed at 3:15 a.m., just 44 minutes before the restrictions took effect. The private jet passengers fled home in unbelievable horror. At least 14 COVID-19 patients were killed in a devastating fire that broke through an intensive care unit in one of India’s overcrowded hospitals about 70 miles outside of Mumbai. The fire, which started at 3 a.m. on Friday morning, was contained and extinguished, but not before 14 patients – many of whom were intubated and difficult to evacuate – had died. “Around 90 patients were hospitalized at the time of the incident,” Dilip Shah, the director of the Vijay Vallabh hospital where it happened, said in a statement Friday. Black Market Hospital Beds and High-Priced COVID Drugs Sold on Indian Twitter An eyewitness, Avinash Patil, told reporters outside the hospital that no doctors were present at the time. “I got a call from a friend around 3am whose mother-in-law was hospitalized,” he said. “When I got to the hospital, I saw fire trucks outside. The intensive care unit on the second floor was shrouded in smoke. There were only two nurses there and I couldn’t see a doctor. It took firefighters about half an hour to put out the flames. We could see eight to ten bodies there. “Shah, the hospital director, insisted that all safety standards were met and that” doctors were present “according to local media reports. Earlier this week, an oxygen leak in Maharashtra state, near the fire outbreak, resulted in the deaths of 24 COVID-19 patients on ventilator. To make terrible things worse, India reported the highest number of one-day-a-day cases, recording 332,730 new infections in a 24-hour period. In the same period, 2,263 people died of COVID-19. India has been overwhelmed by new cases linked to critical shortages of oxygen, hospital beds and now ventilators. Many desperate families were forced to turn to black market winners who could buy hospital space from corrupt administrators. The surge in cases is due to the fact that political rallies are still taking place and continue to raise millions after a month-long religious ceremony Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized for not calling for a national lockdown to contain the spread and ahead of the elections in the May held rallies. Government officials said the prior lockdown at the start of the pandemic was economically devastating for many workers who then traveled on foot from hometowns to their villages carrying the virus. The fire in a COVID-19 hospital in Virar is tragic. Condolences to those who have lost loved ones. May the injured recover soon: PM @ narendramodi – PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 23, 2021 Modi called the fire in the intensive care unit “tragic” and expressed his condolences to Twitter. Many of the comments on his tweet asked him to call for a national ban to save lives. In a shocking reveal published in Time Magazine, Indian journalist Rana Ayyub paints a terrifying picture out of the ground. Writing about states essentially hijacking oxygen trucks and stealing supplies for their own hospitals, she worries about allegations of failure to report deaths. Ayyub blames Modi for the debacle, accusing him of ignoring the fact that his Trump-style rallies are super-spreader events and dropping the ball on vaccines. “Why was India caught unprepared when the second wave was devastated? a cross section of Indian society? Ayyub writes. “The responsibility rests with a strong regime that has ignored all caution.” Read more at The Daily Beast. Get our top stories to your inbox every day. Subscribe now! Daily Beast- Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.