India's COVID-19 cases decline as states impose lockdown curbs
India on Sunday reported 3.1 lakh new coronavirus infections. Notably, India has been witnessing a declining trend in infections since hitting a peak earlier in May. The decline corresponds to several states imposing lockdowns to curb the viral spread. However, India continues to report the highest number of infections in the world, and experts suggest the actual tally could be five-10 times higher.
India's tally reaches 2.46 crore cases, 2.7 lakh deaths
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Sunday morning, India reported a total of 2,46,84,077 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,70,284. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,07,95,335 patients have recovered, while 36,18,458 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 3,11,170 new infections and 4,077 fresh fatalities. 18,22,20,164 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Tamil Nadu reports record spike for 32nd consecutive day
Maharashtra reported a further decline in infections, with 34,848 more people testing positive. However, 960 people died in a single day. Karnataka—the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra—reported 41,664 new cases. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Kerala added a record 32,680 new cases and Uttar Pradesh reported 12,547 new cases. Tamil Nadu—the fifth worst-hit state—reported 33,658 new cases; the biggest spike for the 32nd consecutive day.
India's positivity rate dipped to 19.8% this week
Infections have been declining steadily in states that had previously been seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases. The decline corresponds to lockdown restrictions enforced to curb the viral spread. India's daily positivity rate this week dropped to 19.8% from 21.9% last week, government data showed. Even though the restrictions have had a positive impact, the Centre refuses to impose a nationwide lockdown.
COVID-19 situation in rural areas alarming
However, in rural areas and in the state of Tamil Nadu, the situation remains alarming. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday has asked officials to strengthen healthcare resources in rural areas and also enhance surveillance of infections.
UP government acknowledges COVID-19 victims among bodies dumped in rivers
Reportedly, the Uttar Pradesh government acknowledged that bodies of COVID-19 victims found dumped in some rivers in a letter dated May 14 addressed to district heads. According to a ground report from 27 UP districts in Dainik Bhaskar, more than 2,000 dead bodies were found dumped along a 1,140-kilometer stretch of the river Ganges. Many bodies were also buried near the river's banks.
Only 3% of India's population fully vaccinated
India's vaccination drive has also slowed down as there is a shortage of vaccine doses. India has fully vaccinated just over 40.4 million people or 2.9% of the total population, according to government data available on the CoWin portal. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that India will have 516 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by July.