India passes 300,000 COVID-19 deaths: health ministry

The Government of India has so far provided both through the free of cost category and through direct state procurement category more than 21 crore vaccine doses to States  UTs

India's COVID-19 daily recoveries continued to outnumber the daily new cases for the eighth consecutive day, with 3,57,295 patients recuperating in a span of 24 hours.

The nation on Sunday reported 240,842 new infections nationwide over 24 hours - the lowest daily new cases in more than a month - and 3,741 deaths.

India registered record deaths due to Covid on Wednesday with 4,529 deaths - the highest number of fatalities from Covid infection in any country so far.

India's toll now stands at 303,720 after adding 50,000 deaths in just under two weeks, as the total number of infections rose above 26.7 million, health ministry data showed.

In the capital, New Delhi, residents have died at home with no oxygen as hospitals exhausted limited supplies.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said the Army is ready to extend help to the people of India in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, news agency PTI reported. In Mumbai, patients have died in crowded hospital corridors.

In rural villages, fever and breathlessness took people before they were tested for coronavirus.

While the megacities have seen signs of improvement in recent days, the virus isn't finished with India by any means.

It appears to have already taken a toll in the country's vast rural areas, where a majority of the people live and where healthcare is limited.

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh account for 66.30 per cent of the total doses given so far in the country.

The study, which took place between 5 April and 16 May, found that the Pfizer vaccine was 88 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant two weeks after the second dose, compared with 93 per cent effectiveness against the Kent strain.

Its far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has been widely condemned for his coronavirus scepticism and pandemic management, with Brazil's death toll topping 450,000.

Relatives of Covid victims mourn as they wait to receive the body, at LNJP mortuary, on May 21, 2021 in New Delhi, India.

India's vaccination drive has also slowed recently, and many states say they do not have enough vaccines to administer.

More than 130 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated, and restrictions are being steadily eased in many parts of the country that has the highest number of known deaths and cases in the world.

This story has been corrected to show that there are almost 3.47 million deaths globally, not 34.7 million.

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