The Covid-19 death toll in India has passed 300,000 as a devastating surge of new infections shows no signs of easing.
The country’s health ministry on Monday reported 4,454 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing India’s total fatalities to 303,720.
India has the third highest number of deaths officially recorded, behind the United States and Brazil, but experts believe the true toll is significantly greater.
In the capital, New Delhi, residents have died at home with no oxygen as hospitals exhausted limited supplies. In Mumbai, patients have died in crowded hospital corridors.
But while megacities such as Mumbai and New Delhi see some signs of improvement, the virus appears to be taking a ghastly toll in the country’s vast rural areas.
A majority of India’s people live in rural areas, where health care is limited.
In villages, fever and breathlessness took people before they were even tested for coronavirus.
In recent weeks, hundreds of bodies have washed up on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh state.
Many others have been found buried in shallow graves along its sandy banks. It has prompted concerns that they’re the remains of Covid victims.
India’s vaccination drive has also slowed recently, and many states say they don’t have enough vaccines to administer.
'At no point did we back a decision to compromise national health,' National Vice President of India's ruling party the BJP, Jay Panda tells ITV News
The world’s largest vaccine-producing nation has fully inoculated just over 41.6 million people, or only 3.8% of its nearly 1.4 billion population.
The first known Covid death in India happened on March 12, 2020, in southern Karnataka state.
It took seven months to reach the first 100,000 dead.
The toll hit 200,000 deaths in late April.
The next 100,000 deaths were recorded in just 27 days after new infections tore through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelmed health care systems on the brink of collapse.
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