India on Monday recorded 368,147 new cases of coronavirus and 3,417 deaths as a catastrophic wave spreads across the country. The latest figures came after the leaders of 13 opposition parties wrote a letter urging the government to launch a free vaccination campaign and ensure an uninterrupted flow of oxygen to all hospitals. Over the weekend, several hospital authorities requested court intervention for the oxygen supply in New Delhi, where a lockdown was extended for a week to contain the wave of infections.
The New Delhi High Court has said it will start punishing government officials if oxygen supplies allocated to hospitals are not delivered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has come under heavy criticism for handling the outbreak, which has pushed India’s already fragile and underfunded healthcare system to the brink of collapse. Massive election rallies organized by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party and other parties as well as a giant Hindu festival on the banks of the Ganges River may have exacerbated the spread, experts said, while new variants may also increase cases .
Modi’s party suffered a resounding electoral defeat on Sunday in a key state, West Bengal, failing to oust its chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. The BJP retained power in the northeastern state of Assam, but lost in two southern states.
While the four states were already difficult electoral challenges for the BJP outside of the pandemic, analysts say the results weaken Modi’s position as the spike in infections cripples the already fragile health system.
India has confirmed 19.9 million cases of infection since the start of the pandemic, behind only the United States, which has more than 32.4 million. More than 218,000 people in India have died from COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health. Both numbers are believed to be large undercounts.
India opened its vaccination campaign to people between the ages of 18 and 44 on Saturday, a mammoth task being undermined by limited supplies.
India is the world’s largest producer of vaccines, but even the ongoing effort to vaccinate people over 45 stutters. Since January, 10% of Indians have received one dose, but only about 1.5% have received the required two doses.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
As of 10:05 a.m. ET, Canada had reported 1,237,640 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 83,555 were considered active. A CBC death tally stood at 24,316.
Ontario As of Monday, 3,426 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 more deaths were reported. Hospitalizations stood at 1,925, including 889 in intensive care due to COVID-related illnesses.
This week and next year, the province will send half of its vaccine supply to hot spots, based on recommendations from government science advisers. Adults living in the specific 114 zip codes designated as hotspots can start booking their photos at 8 a.m. ET.
In Atlantic Canada on Sunday, New Scotland reported 133 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 822. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province stood at 34, including six in intensive care.
WATCH | Nova Scotia Adapts Testing Strategy Amid COVID-19 Peak:
Newfoundland and Labrador reported seven new cases of COVID-19, while 11 cases were reported among crew members of a cargo ship. New Brunswick, meanwhile, recorded six new cases and one additional death, and one new case was reported Prince Edward Island.
In Québec, health officials on Sunday reported 1,006 new cases and nine additional deaths. COVID-19 hospitalizations stood at 574, with 157 people in intensive care.
All over the prairies on Sunday, Manitoba reported 281 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths, while Saskatchewan reported 238 new cases and one additional death.
The legislature of one of Canada’s COVID-19 hotspots is shutting down for two weeks. the Alberta The government said the move was aimed at slowing the rampant spread of the coronavirus after the number of cases in the province hit a new high, with 22,920 active cases.
British Columbia will report updated figures covering the weekend later Monday.
In the North, 11 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported Nunavut Sunday, as health officials Northwest Territories reported six new confirmed cases and 10 probable cases linked to Yellowknife. No new cases were reported in Yukon.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 10:10 a.m. ET
What is happening in the world
As of Monday morning, more than 152.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case tracking tool managed by Johns Hopkins University. The reported worldwide death toll stood at more than 3.2 million.
Moderna and vaccine sponsor Gavi have announced an agreement whereby the pharmaceutical company will provide up to 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccine for the UN-backed program to ship to people in need in low-income countries and intermediate by the end of 2022.
The advance purchase agreement comes just days after the World Health Organization, after weeks of delays, announced the emergency approval of the Moderna vaccine which will pave the way for its deployment in the supported COVAX program by the UN. However, deliveries are not expected to begin until the fourth quarter of this year, and the vast majority of the deal’s doses – 466 million – are slated for next year.
In L’Europe , Spain extends the gap between the first and second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to 16 weeks for people under the age of 60, beyond the maximum interval of 12 weeks approved by the European authorities.
Britain, meanwhile, is set to drop the social distancing rule on June 21 which means people must stay at least three feet apart, Prime Minister Boris said. Johnson.
In the Asia Pacific region, Nepal is shutting down all domestic and international flights due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Himalayan nation.
Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli said domestic flights will be stopped from Monday while all international flights will stop flying to and from Nepal from Thursday. He appealed to other countries for vaccines, diagnostic equipment, oxygen and other supplies to help fight the pandemic.
Thailand has reported a new daily record of 31 coronavirus deaths, the health ministry said, as the Southeast Asian country grapples with a third wave of infections.
In the Americas, the US CDC says more than 245 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with more than 104 million people listed as being fully vaccinated.
In AfricaUganda has detected the B1617 variant, raising fears that the East African nation will experience an upsurge in cases just as its outbreak has abated, a senior health official said.
In the Middle East, Iran’s reported number of COVID-19 cases stood at over 2.5 million, with more than 72,400 deaths recorded.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated 9:35 am ET
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