India on Thursday registered 3,62,727 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 2,37,03,665 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The country’s toll rose to 2,58,317 as it reported 4,120 deaths in the last day.
India’s count of active cases climbed to 37,10,525, comprising 15.65% of the total infections. The number of recoveries stood at 1,97,34,823.
Meanwhile, the Drugs Controller General of India approved clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine, Covaxin, for children aged between two and 18 years. The trials will be carried out on 525 healthy volunteers.
India is fighting against a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus. Hospitals across the country are facing acute shortages of oxygen and other medical supplies.
The World Health Organization has linked the massive surge in coronavirus cases in India to religious and political gatherings. Panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh, Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory and the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar were held as the second wave raged across the country.
Thousands are dying every day due to the coronavirus in India, but reports allege that the government is severely undercounting the fatalities.
Over the last few days, bodies of suspected Covid-19 patients have been spotted floating in the Ganga, triggering panic in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. On Wednesday, multiple bodies were found buried in sand in at least two locations along the Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.
Amid the massive surge in cases, several states are grappling with shortages of vaccine doses. On Wednesday, Maharashtra and Karnataka said they were temporarily suspending vaccination for those in the 18-44 age group.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that Bharat Biotech refused to supply additional doses of Covaxin to the national Capital, due to which over 100 vaccination centres had to be shut down.
Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla promised to deliver 1.5 crore doses of Covishield to Maharashtra after May 20, state’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 16 crore people and killed more than 33.26 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.58 crore patients have recovered from the infection.