India records over 100,000 Covid-19 cases for first time

New Delhi, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- India recorded 103,558 cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, crossing six digits for the first time since the onset of the pandemic as a second wave of infections grips the Asian country.

These recent cases have taken the total number of infections to 12.5 million, making India the country with the third highest caseload in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

Moreover, 478 deaths were recorded during the last 24 hours, taking the total to 165,101.

India is experiencing a second wave after recording close to 100,000 cases regularly in September last year, following which the numbers plummeted to less than 10,000 infections towards the end of February.

This time, the coronavirus cases have been increasing faster than during the first wave.

This may be attributed to a relaxation of Covid-19 safety protocols after numbers had dwindled, with people getting careless amid a general feeling that the worst had passed.

Infections are concentrated mainly in a few regions, with the western state of Maharashtra topping the list as it accounted for 55 percent of the total cases in the last 24 hours.

On Sunday, the region announced new restrictions to to check the coronavirus, including a night-time curfew, weekend lockdown and the closure of businesses considered non-essential.

The discovery of a new local variant of the virus in India joins the list of other fast-spreading mutations in the country, such as the British, South African and Brazilian ones.

Meanwhile, India continues with its vaccination campaign, and has administered 79.1 million doses in 79 days, with 1.6 million of them in the last 24 hours.

More than 10 million people have so far received both doses of the vaccine.

The South Asian nation, dubbed as the pharmacy of the world for its ability to produce low-cost drugs on a large scale, is one of the few countries with sufficient stock of Covid-19 vaccines.

The Serum Institute of India, one of the largest manufacturers of AstraZeneca’s formula, Covishield, and the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech – producer of Covaxin indigenous serum – devote much of their production to the local needs of the country of 1.35 billion inhabitants. EFE-EPA


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