Sunday, June 20, 2021

India’s Covid-19 tally tops 22 million with 403,738 new cases, 4,092 fresh fatalities

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The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continued to worsen in India as the trajectory maintained an upward trend. On Sunday, the nation added 403,738 to its tally as the national capital Delhi and other metro cities continue to report fresh infections, according to the Union ministry of health family welfare’s daily bulletin. It is the fourth consecutive day when the number of daily infections is hovering above the 400,000 mark after recording a slight dip in daily cases.

The daily fatalities remained above 4,000 as 4,092 people died due to the viral infection, pushing the death toll to 242,362. With the latest addition, the total Covid-19 caseload has now soared to 22,296,414.

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The number of active cases jumped to 3,736,648 and 18,317,404 people have recovered with 386,444 were discharged in a span of 24 hours, figures updated at 8am on the health ministry’s dashboard showed.

The country as tested a total of 30,22,75,471 samples as of May 8. Out of this, 18,65,428 samples were tested for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Twitter.

Hospitals around the country have been overwhelmed by the fresh wave of infections with oxygen supplies running short in medical facilities due to the sudden surge in demand. People are running from pillar to post to secure even basic medicines.

On Saturday, Tamil Nadu joined a growing list of states with restrictions and announced a complete lockdown to curb the spread and ease pressure on the health system. The other states that are functioning under similar restrictions include Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Bihar among others.

On the vaccination front as well, the country is struggling to produce and distribute enough doses to stem Covid-19 as a long list of states are complaining of shortages, leading to the delay in immunisation drive. India is the world’s biggest vaccine maker and it is currently using Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for the inoculation drive.

On Saturday, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave emergency approval to an anti-Covid oral drug called 2-deoxy-D-glucose, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in joint cooperation with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.

According to the third phase of the clinical trial results, the drug helps in the faster recovery of hospitalised patients. It also reduced dependence on supplemental oxygen.

The country has administered over 167 million vaccine doses but its rate of inoculation has fallen in recent days and only around 2% of its 1.4 billion people have received the two doses needed to be fully immunised.

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