New Delhi, Apr 4 (efe-epa).- India registered 93,249 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, crossing the 90,000 mark for the first time since September – when the country had witnessed the pandemic’s peak with nearly 100,000 daily infections – authorities said on Sunday.
The second wave of the pandemic has intensified much faster than the first one, having jumped from less than 10,000 daily infections on Feb. 16 to almost touching the all time record this weekend.
The total number of cases since the pandemic begun has touched 12.4 million, as the South Asian nation continues to be the third most affected by the pandemic behind the United States and Brazil.
However, it has also maintained a high recovery rate of 93 percent, with around 11.6 million people having overcome the pandemic.
“India is seeing a steep intensification in the doubling time of the COVID-19 Cases: As of 4th April 2021, it is 115.4 days,” the health ministry said in a statement, adding that on Mar. 1 the doubling time stood at 504.4 days.
The fresh surge in cases is mainly concentrated in eight of the 36 Indian states and territories that account for 81 percent of the total cases, with Maharashtra leading the list with around 58 percent of nationwide cases on Sunday (49,447).
The second wave of the pandemic appeared after relaxation of bio-security protocols, the start of an electoral season and festivals, with people reducing the use of masks and social distancing measures amid the sentiment that the worst of the disease was already over.
Apart from the rapidly spreading virus strains from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, India has also discovered a local variant of its own.
A total of 164,623 people have died from the disease in the country, including 513 over the past 24 hours.
Amid the deteriorating situation, Indian authorities have stepped up the vaccination campaign as the only apparent solution for the health crisis.
On Apr. 1, authorities kicked off a new phase of the drive, in which people between the age of 45 and 60 were allowed to get vaccinated, leading a jump in the number of daily immunizations, which stood at 2.7 million on Saturday.
After 78 days of the vaccination campaign, around 75.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country, with 10 million having received both the required doses.
India, known as the “world’s pharmacy” for its capacity to produce low-cost medicines at a massive scale, is one of the few self-sufficient countries regarding anti-Covid vaccines, producing all the vaccines doses currently being used in the nationwide drive.
The Serum Institute of India, one of the largest manufacturers of AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine, and the producer of India’s indigenous Covaxin – local lab Bharat Biotech – have put aside a large part of their production for the domestic demand in the country of 1.35 billion people. EFE-EPA