New Delhi, May 3 (EFE).- India on Monday leaped closer to 20 million coronavirus infections after recording more than 300,000 cases for the 12th day in a row.
Deaths due to the virus rose by 3,417 in the last 24 hours from Sunday morning, raising the total number of fatalities due to Covid-19 to 218,959, a figure that many experts say could be higher.
The federal health ministry data showed that the country registered 368,147 new cases over the past day, taking the overall caseload to 19.9 million.
The new daily figures represent a slight drop in cases for the second successive day after infections in the country passed 400,000 for the first time on Saturday.
India, home to 1.35 billion people, continues to record the highest number of fatalities in the world.
India is the second worst-hit country by the virus after the United States that has 32.4 million cases.
The second-most populous country in the world has been reeling under a devastating second wave that has overwhelmed its health system, with a shortage of oxygen and beds reported in major cities, including the capital, New Delhi.
India relies on its vaccination drive to check the devastation unleashed by the second wave.
It launched the next phase of the program to extend the vaccination drive to everyone over 18 Saturday.
Until now, only those over the age of 45, frontline workers, and health personnel could get doses of either of the two available vaccines manufactured in the country, namely AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Covaxin from the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech.
Some regions have announced their inability to go ahead with the new phase due to inadequate doses.
The vaccination rate has been slow since the drive began in January, with some 157 million doses administered so far.
During the last 24 hours, the country administered just 1.2 million vaccines, one of the lowest numbers recorded in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, more than 40 countries have started sending aid to India to help it fight the pandemic amid a shortage of oxygen and medicines in hospitals to treat critical patients. EFE