Saturday, March 2, 2024

COVID-19: India’s case total nears 20 million

Photo: Meer Faisal

India has reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for a 12th straight day, taking its overall caseload to just shy of 20 million, while deaths rose by 3,417.

With 368,147 new cases over the past 24 hours, India’s total coronavirus infections stand at 19.93 million, while total fatalities are 218,959, according to health ministry data.

Medical experts say real numbers across the country of 1.35 billion may be five to 10 times higher than the official tally.

COVID-19 has killed more than 3.2 million people and infected over 153 million others globally.

International aid to alleviate India’s dire oxygen shortage arrived in the South Asian nation as its death toll climbed to a grim new record.

India expanded its vaccination programme to all adults on Saturday, but many of its states are struggling with shortages despite an export freeze for shots produced domestically.

The latest surge in deaths came as medical equipment from abroad, including oxygen-generation plants, was flown into the capital New Delhi as part of a huge international effort.

The US, Russia and Britain sent emergency supplies including oxygen generators, face masks and vaccines.

Aid sent from France included eight oxygen generator plants and 28 ventilators, adding to the ventilators from Germany that arrived the previous night.

The UK, which has already sent 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators, said it was sending a further 1,000 oxygen ventilators.

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