India’s daily Covid-19 count drops below 1,000
New Delhi, Apr 4 (EFE).- India’s daily Covid-19 count dropped below 1,000 on Monday for the first time in nearly two years, coinciding with some regions making face masks optional after a recent steep fall in the number of infections and deaths due to the virus.
The federal health ministry said 913 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, the lowest since April 2020, when the country of 1.35 billion people was under a strict lockdown that paralyzed its economy.
Almost two years later, India seems to have passed the worst of the pandemic.
The ministry said health officials conducted 314,823 coronavirus tests during the previous day.
The daily positivity rate stood at 0.29 percent on Monday, remarkably lower than the 30 percent registered three months ago when the country recorded nearly 300,000 cases each day during the peak of the third wave triggered by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.
The number of infections stands at 43 million since the pandemic started, the second-highest after the United States, with over 80 million cases.
The ministry reported that the virus claimed 13 lives over the past day, raising the overall toll to 521,358 deaths due to the pandemic since it reached India in January 2020.
Several Indian states have eased the mandatory use of face masks in public spaces even as the authorities have cautioned against lowering the guard.
Among them is the western state of Maharastra, the hardest hit by the pandemic, which recorded more than 1,000 daily Covid-19 deaths during the second wave in mid-April last year.
Maharashtra added 117 cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours.
The national capital of New Delhi, among the worst affected regions during the peak of the second wave in May last, has also made wearing masks optional.
India resumed commercial flights on Mar.27 to revive tourism and speed up economic activities.
India has experienced three waves of infections so far, and the cases have never dropped so much since the first wave began in April two years ago.
During the second wave that peaked in May 2021, the country added more than 400,000 cases and 4,000 deaths each day.
Hospitals were overwhelmed with patients due to the lack of beds and medical oxygen, while crematoria overflowed with the dead. EFE