Thursday May 06, 2021

India's COVID-19 tally crosses 20m as daily cases fall

Published : 05 May 2021, 00:59

  DF News Desk

Patients receive treatment inside a COVID-19 ward in a hospital, in Bangalore, India, April 30, 2021. File Photo: Xinhua.

India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 20-million mark, reaching 20,282,833 on Tuesday, confirmed the federal health ministry, with 357,229 new cases registered across the country during the past 24 hours, reported Xinhua.

Besides, 3,449 new deaths were recorded, taking the death toll to 222,408.

However, the silver lining is that the single-day spike has fallen over the past few days, from over 400,000 single day spike on May 1 to over 357,000 cases on Tuesday morning.

The decrease in single day spikes is attributed to night curfews and partial or complete lockdowns imposed in most of the states.

Speaking to a TV channel, Director of Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Randeep Guleria said that the peak of second wave of the pandemic might have reached in many states in western India, like Maharashtra, and might reach in other states in central and eastern parts in the coming few days.

"We can't rule out the third wave. But I am sure that any subsequent wave in the country won't be as deadly as the second wave has been, because we will be well-prepared by then," he said, adding that the second wave was quite vertically steep as the number of daily cases rose quite sharply.

"It took a toll on the health infrastructure of our country, even as we struggled to provide basic services to the rising number of patients," he said.

In January, the number of daily cases in India had come down to below-10,000 when 9,102 new cases were reported between Jan. 25-26.

As per the federal health ministry's figures, there are still a total of 3,447,133 active cases in the country, with an increase of 33,491 active cases through Monday, while 16,613,292 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals so far across the country.

Considering the intensity of the pandemic in the second wave, some school examinations stand cancelled, others have been postponed.

Delhi has been under a lockdown for the third consecutive week. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced to supply free food to nearly 72,000 poor families in the national capital for the next two months.

"It doesn't mean that the lockdown would continue for the next 2 months. We wish that the number of daily cases come down soon," said Kejriwal.

The chief minister also added that his government will also provide 5,000 Indian Rupees (around 67.65 U.S. dollars) to taxi drivers as, according to him, their lives have been adversely impacted during the lockdown.

The national capital, which has been one of the worst COVID-19 affected places in the country, witnessed 18,043 new cases and 448 deaths through Monday.

So far 17,414 people have died in the national capital due to COVID-19, confirmed the Delhi's health department.

The vaccination drive has picked up in India. Long queues of people can be seen outside the Vaccination Centres in Delhi. A large number of government schools have been turned into vaccination centres too.

Dr. Kailash Aggarwal, a doctor supervising the vaccination drive in the national capital, told Xinhua that people are coming in large numbers for vaccination over the past few day as they probably understood the importance of vaccination against COVID-19.

So far, over 158 million vaccination doses (158,932,921) have been administered to the people across the country.

Meanwhile, the federal government has ramped up COVID-19 testing facilities across the country, as over 293 million tests have been conducted so far.

Two types of Indian vaccines are being administered to the people in India. Besides, India received Sputnik-V vaccines from Russia on Saturday.

There has been an acute shortage of oxygen supplies across the country. People can be seen standing at dedicated centres for hours to get oxygen cylinders filled for their ill family members.

The country continues to receive medical aid, including oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, etc. from a large number of countries including China, the United States, Britain, France.