India passes 300,000 Covid-19 deaths as 'black fungus' spreads

The Government of India has so far provided both through the free of cost category and through direct state procurement category more than 21 crore vaccine doses to States  UTs

India said on Monday it had passed more than 300,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the third country after the United States and Brazil to hit figure as a huge wave of infections overwhelms the healthcare system.

The death toll mounted to 3,03,720, while the recovery tally reached 2,37,28,011.

The number of new daily infections has fallen in India's big cities, but cases and deaths have been breaking records in recent weeks with shortages of hospital beds, oxygen and critical drugs.

Case numbers also rose in neighbouring Nepal, which on Saturday said it had added 8,591 infections in 24 hours to take its total count above the half-million mark.

India is now reporting around 250,000 cases per day according to seven-day average data, having peaked just shy of 400,000 earlier this month.

India has administered more than one crore vaccine doses in the 18-44 age group, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 32,44,17,870 samples have been tested up to May 20 for Covid-19.

India's daily COVID-19 cases are decreasing after peaking on May 9.

More than 1.80 crore COVID Vaccine doses (1,80,43,015) are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.

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

In Mumbai, COVID-19 patients have died in crowded hospital corridors.

This is the eighth consecutive day when India has recorded less than 3 lakh new cases.

Ten states-Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Assam-reported 76.66 per cent of the 2,59,551 new cases registered in a day, the ministry said.

The world's largest vaccine-producing nation has fully vaccinated just over 41.6 million people, or only 3.8% of its 1.35 billion population.

The government said on Sunday it is conducting the highest number of COVID-19 tests, with more than 2.1 million samples tested in the previous 24 hours.

It took less than a month to record its last 100,000 deaths.

Its far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has been widely condemned for his coronavirus scepticism and pandemic management, with Brazil's death toll crossing 450,000.

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