New Delhi, Jan 20 (EFE).- India Thursday added more than 317,000 new Covid-19 infections as the country is in the tight grip of the third wave of the virus outbreak triggered by the rapid expansion of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
The federal health ministry said the new 317,532 cases in the last 24 hours from Wednesday morning raised the overall infections to 38.2 million.
It is for the first time that the country has recorded more than 300,000 Covid-19 cases in the third wave of the virus outbreak that began weeks ago in the crowded country of 1.35 billion people.
It is also the highest daily number of infections since mid-May when the country was battling the virulent second wave of the virus.
India added more than 450,000 daily infections and 4,500 deaths during the peak of the second wave between April and May last year, straining the country’s weak healthcare infrastructure.
The health authorities reported 491 deaths over the day, bringing the total fatalities to 487,000 since the virus was detected in the country more than two years ago.
The rise in new infections coincides with the expansion of the Omicron variant in the country.
Authorities have reported some 9,287 confirmed Omicron infections in India.
The rapid expansion has left the authorities worried even as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) head Balram Bhargava last said that initial data collected by other countries suggested that Omicron is less virulent.
The western state of Maharashtra, the hardest hit by the pandemic, reported just over 43,000 infections and 49 deaths from coronavirus over the past day, followed by southern Karnataka (40,500 cases and 21 deaths) and Kerala (34,217 cases and 134 deaths).
The national capital territory added 13,785 cases and 35 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The new infections in Delhi have shown a marginal decline over the past few days. The authorities have maintained restrictions like nocturnal curfew and the closure of non-essential services on weekends. EFE