India records more than 4,000 daily coronavirus deaths
India reported a smaller rise in daily COVID-19 cases for the third straight day on Sunday, but the number of deaths in 24 hours was higher than 4,000, taking the country's death toll to 270,000.
Deaths grew by 4,077, while infections rose by 311,170 - the smallest rise in daily cases in over three weeks, health ministry data showed on Sunday. Total infections have risen by over 2 million this week and deaths by nearly 28,000.
People try to console a woman mourning the demise of her relative who died from the coronavirus. AFP
India's massive second wave of infections began in February, putting hospitals and medical workers under pressure. Cases have fallen steadily in states hit by an initial surge of infections, such as the richest state of Maharastra and the northern state of Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns.
Federal health officials said on Saturday that the overall rate of positive cases per tests had dipped to 19.8% this week from 21.9% last week, sparking hopes that daily infections have begun to stabilise.
A man runs to escape heat emitting from the multiple funeral pyres of COVID-19 victims at a crematorium in New Delhi. AP
But surges have been seen in states such as Tamil Nadu in the south and rural areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called on officials to strengthen health care resources in rural areas and step up surveillance as the virus spreads rapidly in those areas after ravaging the cities.
Bodies of COVID-19 victims have been found dumped in some Indian rivers, a state government letter seen by Reuters said, in the first official acknowledgement of the alarming practice.
An aerial view of the crematorium in New Delhi. AFP
The world's largest vaccine-producing nation has fully vaccinated just over 40.4 million, or only 2.9%, of its 1.35 billion population as of Sunday, according to data from the government's Co-WIN portal.
India will have 516 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by July, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.
The South Asian nation's tally of infections stands at 24.68 million.
According to the health ministry, 401,993 new infections were registered taking the total caseload to 19.1 million. There were 3,523 deaths, bringing the toll to 211,853.
India's total virus cases since the pandemic began swept past 25 million as the country registered more than 260,000 new cases and a record 4,329 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 4,529 deaths in the last 24 hours, driving the overall toll to 283,248. India also confirmed the daily cases dropped below 300,000 for the third consecutive day. Both numbers are almost certainly undercounts.
The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, (Seha), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, successfully treated 17-month-old Emirati baby Afra, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
An African gang of eight members was arrested and prosecuted by the Dubai Public Prosecution on robbery charges. The gang had mugged an Asian bank customer of Dhs190,000 in Dubai.
A 52-year-old European manager was trialed by the Dubai Public Prosecution for demanding a Dhs530,000 bribe from his Dubai company in order to perform work tasks.