Coronavirus: India's tally crosses 24 million; over 20 million recovered
India on Friday reported 3.43 lakh new coronavirus infections, pushing the nationwide tally past 2.4 crore. The total number of recoveries has climbed to 2 crore. In the past 24 hours, 4,000 fresh fatalities were also reported due to COVID-19. Due to a lack of testing, many experts argue that the actual number of infections and fatalities could be five to 10 times higher.
India's tally reaches 2.4 crore cases, 2.62 lakh deaths
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Friday morning, India reported a total of 2,40,46,809 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,62,317. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,00,79,599 patients have recovered, while 37,04,893 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 3,43,144 new infections and 4,000 fresh fatalities. 17,92,98,584 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Tamil Nadu sees record spike for 30th consecutive day
As many as 42,582 more people tested positive in Maharashtra. Karnataka—the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra—reported 35,297 new cases. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Kerala added a record 39,955 new cases and Uttar Pradesh reported 17,775 new cases. Tamil Nadu—the fifth worst-hit state—reported 30,621 new cases; the biggest spike for the 30th consecutive day. West Bengal also saw a record spike of 20,839 new cases.
Models predicted infections would peak this week
Most models had predicted that coronavirus infections in India would peak this week, Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan, said. Even with a decline in infections expected, Mukherjee has cautioned that the high number of daily cases could still continue to overwhelm hospitals. "The key word is 'cautious optimism,'" Mukherjee wrote on Twitter.
Floating bodies found in UP and Bihar
While the outbreak has left hospitals, morgues, and crematoriums overwhelmed across India, the situation is particularly bad in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where bodies have washed up on the banks of the river Ganges. Locals say the dead bodies are those of COVID-19 victims. As crematoriums have run out of wood for pyres, some bodies were also found buried near the banks.
As cases rise, vaccinations declined
The second wave of COVID-19, which started picking up pace in late February, has also coincided with a slowdown in vaccinations. Although the nationwide vaccination drive was expanded to include all adults starting May 1, daily inoculations have fallen from a high of 45 lakh doses administered in early April to 20 lakh on Thursday, according to data available on the Co-WIN platform.
Over 200 crore vaccine doses to be available this year
On Thursday, NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul said that 216 crore vaccine doses will be available in India between August to December this year. These doses would include Covishield (75 crore doses), COVAXIN (55 crore), Johnson & Johnson's vaccine (30 crore), Sputnik V (15.6 crore), etc. Russia's Sputnik V would be available in markets next week, he said.