India records over 4,000 Covid-19 deaths again while cases decline

New Delhi, May 22 (EFE).- India on Saturday recorded more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths for the second straight day while daily cases continued to decline amid a record number of PCR tests to detect fresh infections.

The South Asian country reported 4,194 deaths in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 295,525 since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health ministry data.

The number of daily cases continued its down trend with 257,299 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 26.2 million, making it the world’s second most affected nation by the coronavirus, behind the United States.

Meanwhile, a record 2.06 million PCR tests were conducted for the detection of the highly infectious virus in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of tests to 324 million since the pandemic broke out.

The western state of Maharashtra, hardest hit by the disease, recorded 1,263 daily deaths, while the number of cases remained less than 30,000 for the second consecutive day.

The national capital of New Delhi, which for weeks reported severe oxygen problems, continued to show signs of recovery, with just over 3,000 daily cases and 252 deaths.

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.

The vaccination campaign reached some 193 million inoculations after a total of 1.4 million doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

A little over 42.8 million people have received two doses of the vaccines.

India’s vaccination drive, the world’s largest, has also hit a roadblock after an acute shortage of jabs.

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