India records more than 4,000 daily coronavirus deaths
Gulf Today Report
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 government on Monday announced that 17 new labs will help track variants, boosting India’s genome sequencing abilities as concern grows over a potentially worrisome variant first detected here, according to The Associated Press.
The variant may spread more easily but the country has lagged behind in doing the testing needed to track it and understand it better.
People try to console a woman mourning the demise of her relative who died from the coronavirus. AFP
The variant first identified in India has prompted global concern - most notably in Britain, where it has more than doubled in a week, defying a sharp nationwide downward trend in infections.
The numbers reported Tuesday follow a trend of falling cases after infections dipped below 300,000 for the first time in weeks a day earlier.
Active cases in the country also decreased by more than 165,000 on Tuesday - the biggest dip in weeks. But deaths have continued to rise and hospitals are still swamped by patients.
India has recorded nearly 280,000 virus deaths since the pandemic began. Both the number of deaths and total reported cases are thought to be vast undercounts.
"Positive trigger for market now is steadily declining fresh COVID cases," V.K. Vijaykumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said in a note.
A man runs to escape heat emitting from the multiple funeral pyres of COVID-19 victims at a crematorium in New Delhi. AP
Gains were seen across the board with forty-six stocks of the Nifty 50 trading in positive territory.
India's benchmark Nifty 50 index climbed on Tuesday to hit its highest in more than two months, powered by gains in financial and metal stocks, as the daily rise in domestic coronavirus cases stayed below the 300,000 mark for a second straight day.
The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.02% to 15,075.45 by 0450 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.97% to 50,061.37. On Monday, they had climbed 1.7% each.
An aerial view of the crematorium in New Delhi. AFP
Private sector lender HDFC Bank rose as much as 2.34% to its highest in nearly three weeks, while ICICI Bank jumped 1.9% to its highest since March 12.
Boosting investor sentiment further was a rise in commodity prices. Copper and iron ore futures rose, pushing the Nifty metal index 2.56% higher. Hindustan Copper led gains on the sub-index with a near 9% surge.
A heady rally in metal stocks paused last week as commodity prices pulled back from record prices. The Nifty metal index is up more than 10% this month despite the pause last week, after surging 21.9% in April.
Drug maker Gland Pharma rose 9.66% to hit a record high after reporting March-quarter results on Monday, while Tata Motors was up 2.4% ahead of its quarterly results.
Among losers, Bharti Airtel fell 1.56% after reporting quarterly results on Monday.
Meanwhile, Asian shares also rose, shrugging off worries about an increase in regional coronavirus infections.
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.
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.
According to the health ministry a record number of people were killed by the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, pushing its overall death toll over a quarter million.
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.
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