India records 4,000 coronavirus deaths for third straight day

New Delhi, May 14 (EFE).- India recorded at least 4,000 coronavirus deaths for the third consecutive day on Friday, while the number of daily infections slightly declined to 343,144, according to official figures.

As per health ministry data, the Asian country has registered a total 262,317 coronavirus deaths and over 24 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

India remains the world’s second most affected country by the coronavirus in terms of caseload, behind the United States, which has recorded a total of 32.8 million cases, according to John Hopkins University.

India has been battling a virulent and devastating second wave of the coronavirus with a positivity rate of around 20 percent, highlighting the seriousness of the situation.

The World Health Organization considers the pandemic to be under control in a country if the positivity rate is below five percent.

The Asian country has recorded over 400,000 daily infections several times in early May, so the decline in cases in recent days brings hope that India has surpassed the worst of the second wave.

However, experts have warned that Covid-19 has been spreading rapidly in rural areas where the healthcare system is poor and not enough testing is done to show a true picture of daily infections.

The second wave has crippled the healthcare sector in parts of the country, and caused dozens of deaths of coronavirus patients due to lack of medical oxygen.

The authorities in the capital city of New Delhi, after weeks of oxygen shortage, revealed Thursday that the worst appears to have past.

“In Delhi, around 15 days back, Covid cases were rising like a flood. Positivity rate had also increased to 35 per cent. Around 80,000-1,00,000 tests were being conducted every day, and thousands of patients were being admitted on a daily basis. Now, positivity rate has reduced to 14 per cent and daily cases have reduced to 10,400,” Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in a video message.

India, which sees its vaccination drive as an answer to the pandemic, inoculated two million people in the last 24 hours.

Since the start of the vaccination campaign in January, the country has administered 179 million doses of either Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, or the indigenous Covaxin.

Until now around 40 million of its 1.35 billion population have been administered both doses of the vaccine.

However, it remains far from the government target of inoculating 300 million people by July, owing to a shortage of vaccines. EFE


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