India crosses 300,000 total coronavirus deaths

New Delhi, May 24 (EFE).- India crossed 300,000 total coronavirus deaths on Monday, after recording more than 4,000 fatalities in the last 24 hours, while daily infections continue a downward trend, with just over 220,000 cases in the last 24 hours.

India reported 4,454 deaths in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 303,729 since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health ministry data.

The country reported over 100,000 Covid-19 deaths over the last one month, often registering more than 4,000 deaths a day.

On the other hand, the number of daily cases continued to decline with 222,315 infections in the last 24 hours, as against the 400,000 cases registered almost regularly some two weeks ago.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 26.7 million, making it the world’s second most affected nation by the coronavirus, behind the United States (over 33 million).

Despite the significant reduction in infections, India remains engulfed in a second wave that has left the healthcare system on the verge of collapse, with a lack of basic supplies and medical oxygen prompting the authorities to seek international aid.

The western state of Maharashtra, hardest hit by the disease, recorded more than 1,300 daily deaths, while the number of cases was less than 30,000.

The national capital of New Delhi, which for weeks reported severe oxygen problems, continued to show signs of recovery, with just over 1,649 daily cases and 189 deaths.

The city authorities on Sunday extended lockdown to its sixth week, while contemplating the possibility of a phased lifting of restrictions in the coming days.

Despite a relative improvement in the situation, experts have cast doubt on the official data because the virus outbreak has hit the rural areas that lack the testing and healthcare infrastructure.

Meanwhile the vaccination campaign continued to slow down with less than a million jabs administered the past day, as several regions of the country continue to complain of vaccine shortage.

Several states have put on hold the vaccination drive due to the unavailability of stock.

New Delhi, for instance, has temporarily halted vaccination for those below the age of 45 due to lack of sufficient doses.

A total 196 million doses of shots have been given since the vaccination campaign was launched in January.

The British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca’s Covishield, the indigenous Covaxin by Bharat Biotech laboratory and the Russian Sputnik V are the three vaccines that have been approved in the country.

The country had aimed to immunize 300 million people by July, which seems highly impossible given the current inoculation pace. EFE


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