New Delhi (AFP)
India’s total number of Covid cases surpassed 20 million on Tuesday, official data showed, as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on hospitals across the country.
In the past 24 hours, India added 357,229 cases, bringing the total to 20.3 million, according to the health ministry. The deaths have risen from 3,449 to 222,408. Many experts suspect the actual number to be much higher.
India has added around eight million new cases since the end of March in a fierce new wave blamed on variants of the virus and the government has allowed most activities to resume as well as huge religious gatherings and policies.
It has overwhelmed India’s chronically underfunded healthcare system, leading to a severe shortage of hospital beds, medicine and oxygen, with patients dying outside crowded clinics in New Delhi and elsewhere.
The daily number of new cases has declined in recent days, however, peaking at 402,000 on Friday.
“If the daily cases and deaths are analyzed, there is a very early signal of movement in the positive direction,” Lav Aggarwal, a senior health ministry official, told reporters on Monday.
“But these are very early signals. It is necessary to analyze it further and to make related efforts to monitor it continuously, ”he added.
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