India reports record Covid-19 deaths again while daily cases subside

New Delhi, May 19 (EFE).- India reported Wednesday a new record in the number of Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, which crossed the 4,500 barrier for the first time, while the number of fresh infections continued to show a downward trend.

According to the Health Ministry, India recorded 4,529 deaths, taking the total to 283,248 since the start of the pandemic, only behind the United States and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the daily coronavirus cases continued to show a downward trend with 267,334 fresh infections compared to the record highs of 400,000 registered a few weeks ago.

India has recorded a total 25.4 million infections since the start of the pandemic, only behind the US, which has close to 33 million cases.

The western state of Maharashtra – the most affected by the pandemic – reported 1,291 deaths, and 28,438 cases. During the peak of the second wave in the country a few weeks ago, it was registering some 65,000 daily cases.

The Indian capital of New Delhi, also severely affected by the second wave, too showed signs of recovery with daily cases remaining below 5,000, while recording 265 deaths.

This gradual decline in cases comes after several weeks of record high cases that caused the collapse of the healthcare system and a shortage of medical supplies and oxygen that prompted more than 40 countries to send aid to India.

While everything seems to indicate that the worst of this second wave has already passed, experts have warned that the official figures do not reflect the ground reality as the actual toll could be significantly higher taking into account that the rural areas do not have facilities for conducting tests or treating serious patients.

India administered 1.3 million doses of anti-Covid jabs in the last 24 hours as a part of its vaccination campaign, touted as the only solution to the current crisis.

A total 186 million people have been vaccinated so far and only 3 percent on the population have received both doses, as the campaign progresses at a slower place than expected with reports of vaccine shortages in several regions of the country.

Covishield of the British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and the indigenous Covaxin by Bharat Biotech laboratory have been the two vaccines in use in the country.

Some 150,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V have arrived after it became the third coronavirus vaccine to be approved by the authorities.

However, India’s target of inoculating 300 million people by July in what it terms as the world’s largest vaccination campaign remains far fetched at the moment. EFE


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