India reports record number of new COVID-19 deaths as infections continue to rise in rural areas – fr

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India reports record number of new COVID-19 deaths as infections continue to rise in rural areas – fr


Volunteers carry the body of a person who died of COVID-19 to a cemetery in Bengaluru, India on May 18, 2021.

SAMUEL RAJKUMAR / Reuters

India on Wednesday reported more coronavirus deaths in a single day than any other country at any time during the pandemic, as infections continued to spread across large rural areas with weak health systems.

The Ministry of Health reported a record 4,529 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of confirmed deaths in India to 283,248. It also reported 267,334 new infections, with daily cases remaining below 300,000. for the third consecutive day. The numbers are almost certainly underestimated.

The previous record for most daily coronavirus deaths was set on January 12 in the United States, when 4,475 people died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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With more than 25 million cases since the start of the pandemic, confirmed infections in India come just behind the United States

Experts say new infections in India, which had risen sharply, may finally slow down. But deaths have continued to rise and hospitals are still crowded with patients. Over the past month, deaths from COVID-19 in India have increased six-fold.

While mega-cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi have seen signs of improvement in recent days, there are fears that the virus is spreading in the vast countryside where the majority of the population lives and where healthcare and testing is limited. .

The situation is particularly alarming in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with 200 million people, where a court ruled on Monday that citizens were left “at the mercy of God”. Even though new cases have declined over the past week, the state has more than 136,000 active confirmed infections.

Government officials are rushing to limit the spread of the virus in villages across the state. The teams have reached nearly 90,000 villages and the virus has been detected in around 21,000 of them, the Press Trust of India news agency said, citing a senior health official, Amit Mohan Prasad.

Health experts say the true extent of the virus is difficult to assess, in part because of weak data, and the government’s response has come too late.

“National history has hidden what was happening in rural India and it continues to be quite invisible,” said Murad Banaji, a mathematician who models India’s cases.

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In many parts of Uttar Pradesh, people are dying of fever and shortness of breath even before being tested for the coronavirus. The crematoriums are running out of wood and hundreds of bodies are washed up on the banks of the Ganges.

“Villagers often ignore the fever and body aches. Before relatives can figure out what is going on, the patient dies, ”said Raja Bhaiya of the non-profit group Vidya Dham Samiti, which works to raise awareness about the pandemic in Banda district, state.

Bhaiya said that “the only testimony of death in the village is the screams of women and children, and these screams are now very common.”

India’s vaccination campaign is also running out of steam when it is most needed. The number of doses given daily has dropped by about half over the past six weeks, from a high of 4 million per day on April 2 to about 2 million or less this week.

Many states report that they do not have enough vaccines to administer.

Bodies are found stranded in the Ganges as India’s coronavirus crisis continues to soar. Experts estimate that the real numbers could be five to ten times higher than official estimates. This video contains graphic content. Matthew Larotonda reports. Reuters

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