India COVID-19 cases touch record 400k in one day

Kolkata, India: Novel coronavirus cases in the world's worst-hit nation just surpassed another record, logging over 400,000 new cases in just 24-hours, for the first time since the pandemic began. 

India reported 4,01,993 new infections, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 1.91 crores.

For nine days in a row, the country had reported over three lakh infections. Another 3,523 people died, making it one of the worst days of the pandemic in India.

Maharashtra, the worst-affected state in the country, had 62,919 infections, followed by Karnataka (48,296) and Kerala (48,296). (37,199).

There were 2,97,488 further recoveries, bringing the total to 1,56,71,536.

The grim infection toll comes amid an unprecedented crisis facing the country whose healthcare system has been chronically underfunded.

Hospitals around the nation are struggling to admit critical patients, as the vital live-saving oxygen falls short. 

Grim scenes show crematoriums overflowing with dead bodies and real-estate falling short for buryals with the influx of the number of death from the virus. 

Starting today, India also opened the floodgates of a major vaccination drive -- the third phase -- involving everyone over the age of 18 eligible to get the jabs. However, the drive could not begin as planned owing to an acute vaccine shortage. 

Only 5 to 6 states were able to begin the third phase of India's vaccination drive, while states like  Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, said they cannot vaccinate all adults as they are low on stocks.

Amid a critical situation unfolding in Delhi, Mumbai, and other states battered with COVID-19, nations from around the world began sending consignments of medical equipment like cryogenic oxygen tankers, oxygen makers, ventilators, and others, which are currently experiencing a shortfall in India. 

India has received pledges of support from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, and Australia in its fight against the crisis.

A statistical model prepared by a team of scientists advising the central government predicts that daily coronavirus cases will peak between May 3 and May 5. 

"Our belief is that by next week, the daily new cases nationwide would have peaked," said M Vidyasagar, chief of the group.

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