India’s Covid-19 death toll crosses 50,000-mark

New Delhi, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- India’s Covid-19 death toll crossed 50,000 on Monday while the number of coronavirus infections continues to surge and has gone past 2.6 million in a country of over 1.3 billion people.

According to the latest data by the government, the country registered 941 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths to 50,921 since the first case of the disease was detected in late January.

The total number of Covid-19 cases stood at 2,647,663 as of Monday, as India continued to occupy the third spot in the list of countries worst-affected by the pandemic, after the United States (5.5 million cases) and Brazil (3.3 million).

However, the Indian health ministry insisted in a statement on Monday that the case fatality rate of the disease had been dropping and “further slumped today touching 1.92 percent.”

The figure is lower than those registered in the US and Brazil, where the mortality rate has hovered around 3 percent as per the data collected by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Some experts have explained this difference by citing India’s relatively young population.

During the past week, the South Asian country regularly reported more than 60,000 cases per day, the highest number of fresh infections worldwide.

As part of the country’s efforts against the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that India was developing three different vaccines against Covid-19, which were in different stages of testing.

Modi claimed that the country was ready to manufacture the antidote at a massive scale once it was proved to be successful.

Earlier this month, the Serum Institute of India – the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer – had said in a statement with GAVI (formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that they had the capability of jointly producing 100 million doses of the future vaccine at a maximum price of $3.

Coronavirus infections have continued to rise in India, which lifted one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in June, when there were just around 250,000 positive cases in the country.

Since then, the government has kept lifting restrictions gradually despite rising cases.

In the third phase of “unlocking” the country – announced in the beginning of August – practically all activities have been permitted except large gatherings and the running of indoor spaces with sizable capacity crowds, such as cinema halls and swimming pools. EFE-EPA


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