India virus death toll passes 300,000, 3rd highest in world

The COVID-19 death toll in India has passed 300,000 as a devastating surge of new infections shows no signs of easing

India’s death toll is the third-highest reported in the world, accounting for 8.6% of the nearly 34.7 million coronavirus fatalities globally, though the true numbers are thought to be significantly greater.

The health ministry Monday reported 4,454 new death in the last 24 hours, bringing India’s total fatalities to 303,720. It also reported 222,315 new infections, which raised the overall total to nearly 27 million. Both are almost certainly undercounts.

Average daily deaths and cases have slightly decreased in the past few weeks and the government on Sunday said it is conducting the highest number of COVID-19 tests, with more than 2.1 million samples tested in the previous 24 hours.

Megacities such as Mumbai and New Delhi, the worst affected by the latest surge, are also experiencing signs of improvement in recent days. But the virus isn’t finished with India by any means and there are some early indications that it has already taken a ghastly toll in the country’s vast rural areas where a majority of the people live and where health care is limited.

In recent weeks, hundreds of bodies have washed up on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh state. Many others have been found buried in shallow graves along its sandy banks. It has prompted concerns that they’re the remains of COVID-19 victims.

The world’s largest vaccine-producing nation has fully vaccinated just over 41.6 million people, or only 3.8% of its nearly 1.4 billion population.

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