A health worker collects a nasal swab sample from a man to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Amritsar on April 18, 2021.

India had a new record in daily Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) infections with more than 379,000 cases recorded in the past 24 hours, figures from India’s Health Ministry showed on Thursday.

The health ministry also reported 3,645 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 204,832.

Experts believe both figures are an undercount, but it’s unclear by how much.

India has set a daily global record for seven of the past eight days, with a seven-day moving average of nearly 350,000 infections.

Daily deaths have nearly tripled in the past three weeks, reflecting the intensity of the latest surge. And the country’s already teetering health system is under immense strain, prompting multiple allies to send help.

When people were able to register online from Wednesday, the rush was so great that the servers of the registration website were overloaded at times, Indian media and many Twitter users reported.

Initially, vaccinations are to be available only after online registration.

But vaccines in India are in short supply given the large population of more than 1.3 billion even though India produces vaccines en masse and is known as the pharmacy of the world.

So far, less than 10 per cent of people have received at least one vaccine dose.

The fierce second wave has seen huge religious festivals and election campaign events in recent weeks, as well as a virus variant that is slightly more infectious and resilient to immunity, German virologist Christian Drosten stated.

The total number of infections has risen to more than 18 million in the populous South Asian nation.

In addition, a total of more than 200,000 people have died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

According to the World Health Organisation, 38 per cent of the COVID-19 cases reported worldwide earlier were from India. (dpa/NAN)


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