A beneficiary will receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine on April 11, 2021 at HB Kanwatia Hospital in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Vishal Bhatnagar | NurPhoto | Getty Images
India overtook Brazil as the second worst infected country after the US after data showed Covid-19 cases continued to rise.
The South Asian nation reported more than 168,000 new cases in a 24-hour period on Monday, according to health ministry data. Around 83% of new infections were reported in 10 states, including the western state of Maharashtra, which is home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai.
India has reported more than 1.37 million cases since the beginning of April, bringing the total number of infections in the country to over 13.5 million since last January. Cases have increased since February after peaking in September.
Although Maharashtra was the hardest hit state in the second wave, cases are increasing in other areas – including the populous state of Uttar Pradesh.
The daily reported death rate is also rising as hospitals are under pressure to provide care, including the number of beds available. However, compared to other countries including the US, deaths from Covid in India are relatively low.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has reportedly attributed the second wave of infections to people’s lack of commitment to wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
But in recent weeks, politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata party, as well as other political parties, have held election campaigns in states like West Bengal, where large crowds gathered – most of them unmasked. There were also a number of religious gatherings held in different parts of the country.
Vaccination program is running
The Indian Ministry of Health says more than 100 million doses of vaccines have been administered since the government launched an ambitious vaccination program in January. Everyone over 45 years of age since April 1st is entitled to their recordings.
According to media reports, some states, including Maharashtra, are facing severe vaccine shortages. In response, the Indian government accused these states of diverting attention from their failure to control the virus.