India registers over 4,000 Covid deaths despite slight drop in cases

New Delhi, May 16 (EFE).- India on Sunday registered more than 4,000 deaths due to the new coronavirus and continues to record the highest number of infections, despite a downward trend in recent days.

The country recorded 4,077 Covid deaths within the last 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities by the pandemic to 270,284, according to health ministry data.

In the same period, authorities reported 311,370 fresh cases, the lowest daily caseload in nearly a month, as the pandemic continues in a gradual decline after resulting in over 400,000 daily cases earlier this month.

The total number of infections in the country has now crossed 24.6 million, as it remains the second worst-affected by the pandemic in terms of cases after the United States, where 32.9 million cases have been registered.

However, experts have warned that India’s official figures do not reflect the real picture of the pandemic due to lack of testing and the disease increasingly spreading to rural areas, where healthcare facilities are very poor.

The second wave of the pandemic resulted in a collapse of the Indian health system, with patients dying due to lack of medical oxygen even as crematoriums struggled to cope with the massive surge in deaths.

States such as New Delhi and Maharashtra, among the worst affected by the disease, have been reporting improved figures in recent days.

However other provinces such as West Bengal have witnessed a rise in infections and have had to impose new restrictions.

Regional elections were held in the state last month controversially, resulting in crowded campaign rallies being held with no social distancing in place.

Public and private offices in West Bengal will remain closed for two weeks starting Sunday along with public transport and schools, as part of a number of measures announced to control the spread of Covid-19.

India administered 1.7 million doses of anti-Covid vaccines in the last 24 hours, higher than 1.1 million doses administered the day before.

The vaccination campaign, touted as the only solution to the current crisis, has progressed at a slower place than expected and only a little over 3 percent Indians have been fully vaccinated so far.


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