Coronavirus: India reports lowest spike in cases in 50 days
India on Monday reported 1.52 lakh new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day spike in infections in 50 days, along with over 3,100 fresh fatalities. The second wave of COVID-19 now seems to be witnessing a decline, and the Centre is aiming to fully vaccinate India's entire population by the end of 2021. So far, however, just over 3% of India's population has been vaccinated.
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Sunday morning, India reported a total of 2,80,47,534 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 3,29,100. So far, 2,56,92,342 patients have recovered, while 20,26,092 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 1,52,734 new infections, 2,38,022 more discharges, and 3,128 fresh fatalities. 21,31,54,129 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Maharashtra reported 18,600 new COVID-19 cases along with 22,532 more recoveries. Karnataka, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 20,378 new cases and 28,053 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Kerala added 19,894 new cases and 29,013 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 28,864 new cases and 32,982 recoveries. Uttar Pradesh reported 1,908 new cases and 6,713 recoveries.
As the second wave recedes, the number of fatalities has also started declining. In the week ending on Sunday, deaths declined by 17%, the first decline in 12 weeks. Between May 24-30, India recorded 24,372 fatalities compared to 29,331 COVID-19 deaths between May 17-23. In May so far, India has reported over 1.1 lakh deaths, making it the deadliest month since the pandemic began.
The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it is aiming to fully vaccinate the entire 1.35 billion people in India by the end of 2021. The court questioned the Centre over apparent inconsistencies in its vaccination policy. India has administered 212 million doses, the most after China and the United States. However, only over 3% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
On Sunday, the Centre said India will have nearly 120 million vaccine doses available for domestic use in June. Earlier, it had said that over 2 billion vaccine doses will be available between August and December. Experts have, however, questioned these tall claims.
The Centre has only spent about 13% of its vaccination budget so far, even as India has been ravaged by two waves of COVID-19. According to The Times of India, an RTI filed by a Nagpur-based activist revealed that the Centre has only disbursed Rs. 4,488.75 crore from its Rs. 35,000 crore budget for the procurement of vaccines (as announced in the Union Budget).
Further, a survey of 6,872 people across the country has found that almost half of them were dissatisfied with India's COVID-19 response. The survey, conducted in the last seven days by IANS-CVoter, found that 46.6% of people believe the government did not handle the pandemic well. Further, 29.2% of people strongly disagreed with the measures adopted by the government.