India crosses 300,000 COVID deaths

vaccine drive hit by shortage.

India has crossed 300,000 coronavirus deaths, the third country after the United States and Brazil to hit the grim figure, as it battles a huge second wave of infections now affecting the poorer countryside.

India’s health ministry on Monday reported 4,454 coronavirus-related deaths over the last 24 hours, with the total death toll now standing at 303,720 after adding 50,000 deaths in just under two weeks.

Daily coronavirus infections rose by 222,315, taking the country’s caseload to 26.75 million, according to the health ministry data.

The milestone came as slowed vaccine deliveries mar the country’s fight against the pandemic, forcing many to miss their shots, and a rare “black fungus” infection affecting COVID-19 patients worrying the doctors.

Many experts however believe the real toll is much higher, particularly as the disease spreads into rural areas where the majority of the 1.35 billion population lives and where health facilities and record-keeping is poor.

Al Jazeera’s Elizabeth Puranam, reporting from New Delhi, said Indian journalists, doctors and crematoriums all say many deaths are not being counted.

“The official death toll only takes into account people who are dying in hospitals, but most Indians don’t die in hospitals, they die at home. And only around 22 percent of deaths in the country are medically certified,” she said.

source: AL JAZEERA

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