India on Wednesday registered 3,48,421 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections to 2,33,40,938 since the pandemic broke out in the country in January last year. With 4,205 deaths, the toll rose to 2,54,197. This is the highest single-day rise in deaths in India since the outbreak of the pandemic.

India’s count of active cases stood at 37,04,099, reducing for the second consecutive day, according to the Centre. The number of recoveries reached 1,93,82,642.

The country has reported more than 3 lakh cases in 24 hours every day for the past three weeks, since April 22. On May 1, it hit a new record by crossing the 4-lakh mark – the highest single-day tally reported in any country in the world. This was surpassed on May 7, when India recorded 4.14 lakh daily cases. So far in May, India’s daily tally has crossed the 4-lakh mark on five days. Thousands have died every day, but reports allege that the government is severely undercounting Covid-19 deaths.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare clarified on Wednesday that the World Health Organization did not associate the term “Indian variant” for the B.1.617 mutation. “Several media reports have covered the news of World Health Organisation classifying B.1.617 as variant of global concern,” the ministry said. “Some of these reports have termed the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as an “Indian variant”. These media reports are without any basis, and unfounded.”

Shortly after the health ministry’s clarification, WHO tweeted that it does not identify viruses or variants with names of countries, where they were first detected. “We refer to them by their scientific names and request all to do the same for consistency,” the global health body said.

India’s inoculation programme began on January 16 and was from May 1 opened up to the larger population of all over 18 years. Two vaccines, Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are being used to inoculate the population.

Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, had refused to supply additional doses to the Capital, citing the Centre’s orders. Sisodia added that the Capital was forced to shut down over 100 vaccination centres due to a lack of Covaxin doses.

Now, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana joined the list of states that have decided to float global tenders for procuring coronavirus vaccines amid shortages of supply from domestic manufacturers, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha already issued such tenders.

Meanwhile, United States top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said India made an “incorrect assumption” that it was done with the coronavirus pandemic and opened up prematurely.. due to which it was left in such “dire straits”, PTI reported.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected 15.90 crore people and killed over 33.12 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.53 crore people have recovered from the infection.