More than 6,000 deaths recorded in 24 hours
A patient wearing an oxygen mask is transported inside a COVID-19 hospital for treatment, amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India on April 26, 2021 .
Amit Dave | Reuters
The daily death toll from India’s coronavirus crisis reached a record high on Thursday, with more than 6,000 people succumbing to the disease.
This exceeded the record number of daily deaths reported by the United States this year.
Data from India’s Ministry of Health showed that 6,148 Covid-related deaths were recorded over a 24-hour period, as daily reported cases remained below 100,000 for the third day in a row.
The death toll has risen after one of India’s poorest states, Bihar, on Wednesday revised its total number of Covid-19-related deaths from around 5,400 to over 9,400, which represents people who have died at home or in private hospitals, Reuters reported.
India is battling a devastating second wave of the epidemic that began in February and accelerated in April and early May, which overwhelmed the country’s healthcare infrastructure. The sector struggled with shortages of beds, oxygen and medicine as many doctors and other healthcare workers succumbed to the disease.
As cases peaked in early May, government officials sounded the alarm about a potential third wave that could hit the country later this year.
Experts say accelerating the vaccination program is the way forward for India, both to pull its economy out of the Covid crisis and to mitigate the effects of a third wave. But the rollout, which began in January, has encountered problems, including a shortage of vaccines, so far resulting in less than 5% of the population receiving both doses.
The government believes that more than 2 billion doses of vaccine could be available by December, as more vaccine candidates are expected to receive regulatory approval. Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week said that India provide free Covid-19 vaccines to all adults.
India has reported more than 29 million cases and more than 353,000 deaths since the pandemic began last year.