India's record-setting deaths, cases dominate COVID-19 pandemic

Allen Cone
Roads are nearly deserted during a weekend curfew in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, in effort to curb the rise in Covid-19 cases in New Delhi. According Delhi Disaster Management Authority's orders, gyms, spas, malls and auditoriums will remain closed until further notice while cinema halls will be permitted to open with 30% of seating capacity on weekdays. Photo by Rajat Gupta/EPA-EFE
Roads are nearly deserted during a weekend curfew in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, in effort to curb the rise in Covid-19 cases in New Delhi. According Delhi Disaster Management Authority's orders, gyms, spas, malls and auditoriums will remain closed until further notice while cinema halls will be permitted to open with 30% of seating capacity on weekdays. Photo by Rajat Gupta/EPA-EFE

April 18 (UPI) -- Amid a milestone 3 million people dead from coronavirus worldwide, India is dominating the increases with record-setting fatalities as well as cases while its vaccine rollout lags.

The Asian nation, with the world's second-largest population at 1.4 billion, on Sunday broke the single-day record for most deaths at 1,501 and cases at 261,500.


Until last week, India's cases mark was less than 100,000. But within the past four days, it's surged to more than 200,000. Saturday's increase of 234,692 infections represented 30% of the world total and Saturday's rise of 1,341 deaths was 11.6%.

In the past week, cases have increased by 1,429,304, the most in the world with a 64% gain, and deaths have spiked 69% at 7,875, which is second behind Brazil's 20,420, which declined 4%.

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Brazil has the second-most deaths, 371,889, behind the United States at 567,180. India is fourth with 177,150, behind Mexico with 212,228. The United States owns the world daily records for most deaths at 4,476 and cases at 300,310 -- both in January.

So far Sunday, the world total is 3,029,703, according to Johns' Hopkins has the total at 3,013,280.


Over one week, worldwide deaths have increased 7% with cases 14%. In Europe, which experienced a surge recently, deaths dropped 3% and cases decreased 5%.

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India's total cases of 14,788,109 are second behind the United States with 31,663,304. The world total is 141,880,609.

"Brazil is a complete disaster in terms of the political leadership, and India has become complacent after the initial decline in cases," Madhukar Pai, the Canada research chair in epidemiology and global health at McGill University in Montreal, told Bloomberg.

Despite the record numbers, India's per capita figures are lower than the world -- 127 deaths per million and 10,633 cases. The world average is 388.3 deaths and 18,142 cases with the United States at 1,746 fatalities and 97,315 infections. Brazil has 1,740 deaths per million and 65,028 cases per million.

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In the vaccine rollout, India has given at least one dose to 7.8% of its population, according to Bloomberg tracking. In all, more than 884 million shots have been given for a population of 7.8 billion.

Among the world leaders in fatalities, the United States has administered at least one dose to 39% of its population with Brazil at 12.2%. Britain, which inoculated the first person in the world in December, is among the best in the world with 48.9%.


India is lagging though it produced 60% of all vaccines globally, according to CNN. In India, the Oxford-AstraZeneca one, also known as Covishield, and its homegrown Covaxi, are administered in the nation.

The top vaccine makers are U.S.-based Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, both based in the United States, as well as AstraZeneca in Britain.

China and Russia also have developed vaccines.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed all officials to utilize the entire national capacity -- public and private sector -- to ramp up vaccine production.

"Like we did last year, we will successfully fight COVID with even greater speed and coordination," the prime minister wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

Modi also received a report of the dire situation of oxygen supply.

To fight the pandemic, states and cities are imposing new restrictions, including weekend and nighttime curfews in the capital region Delhi, where 19 million people live.

India has 38% of Asia's 467,526 deaths and 45% of the 33,800,336 cases. Asia ranks third in deaths and fourth in cases among the continents.

COVID-19 originated in Mainland China, but the nation has reported only a few deaths in the past 12 months and stands in 57th at 4,636 behind Ireland with 4,835. China added 16 cases Sunday.


In China, daily life has returned to near normal after extensive quarantines and restrictions.

The nation's economy grew at a record pace in the first quarter this year.

"The big picture is that China is catching up faster now to the level of advanced economies, faster than ever before," said Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, told The Washington Post.

China has enough vaccine for 6.7% of its population with dosage percentages not available. Last week, Gao Fu, the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, said China is working "to solve the problem that the efficacy of its existing vaccines is not high."

Iran reported the second most deaths in Asia, 405 with the record 486 in November. And cases were 21,644, behind the record 25,582 Thursday. A 10-day lockdown across most of the country is due to expire Tuesday.

In the Far East, Indonesia has the most deaths, 44,424 in 17th place with 96 reported Sunday.

Japan is 41st with 9,662 deaths, including 16 on Sunday with the record 120. Cases are 4,093 with the record 7,882.

Despite a surge in cases, Japan plans to still put on the Tokyo Olympics in July. They already have been delayed one year.


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday.

"As was mentioned at the beginning, I expressed my determination to realize the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympic Games as a symbol of global unity this summer," he said. "And President Biden, once again, expressed his support."

On Friday, the government expanded coronavirus quasi-emergency measures from six to 10 prefectures across Japan, amounting to one-quarter of the population, including Tokyo.

Japan has vaccinated only 0.9% of the population with at least one dose.

South Korea is at 2.9%.

South Korea's record is 40 deaths on Dec. 29 with three announced Sunday for a total of 1,797, as well as 671 cases, behind the mark of 1,241 on Dec. 25.

Israel, which is considered part of Asia, has fully vaccinated 59.0% of its population. Its death toll is 6,334.

Starting Sunday, masks are not required outdoors. Also Sunday, Israeli schools are fully reopened, ending the requirement that some grades still learn in smaller class sizes.

In South America, four nations are in the top 20 for most deaths. Besides Brazil, Colombia is in 11th with 67,931, Argentina in 14th with 59,164 and Peru in 15th with 56,797.


In all, the continent's death toll is 620,832 and 23,317,509 cases.

Brazil set the nation's daily record for most deaths, 4,211 on April 6 then 4,190 two days later, but the nation hasn't surpassed 4,000 in the past week, including 2,865 Saturday. And cases were 65,792 Saturday compared with a record 97,586 in March.

Brazil, with a population of 213.8 million, is lagging behind other South American nations in vaccinations, including Chile at 40.1% of its 19.3 million population receiving at least one shot. Chile ranks 22nd in the world in fatalities at 25,177, including 122 Sunday.

Brazil's Health Ministry has urged women to postpone pregnancy until the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has passed, including a more contagious variant.

In North America, Mexico reported 535 deaths Saturday. The single-day record is 1,803. Cases were 4,157 for a total of 2,304,096, which ranks 14th.

The nonessential travel ban among Mexico, Canada and the United States is scheduled to expire Wednesday. It began one year ago in March.

All but around 30,000 of the total deaths in North America are in those countries.

North America is second behind Europe for deaths the second-most deaths of the continents, 846,710 and cases with 37,402,844.


Mexico was the first Latin American nation to begin administering vaccinations, but the rate is low at 7.9% for at least one dose.

Canada's rate is 22.9%, which is 16 percentage points below its neighbor to the south.

Canada reported only 304 deaths in the past week through Saturday and another 28 Sunday for a total of 23,619. Its deaths have been under triple digits since 142 on Feb. 3. Cases were 5,775 Sunday, behind the record 11,383. But there were 10,858 on Monday.

Canada has surpassed the United States for cases per million people at 231.31 vs. its neighbor's 211.7, according to a data tracker.

The variant that originated in Britain, B1.1.7, accounts for more than two-thirds of new cases.

The biggest surges are in the Ontario Province, which includes Toronto. On Friday, there were a record 4,812 new cases of the 9,346 total in the nation.

With health experts warning cases could increase by 600% to 30,000 a day in Ontario, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "We're going to do whatever it takes to help. Discussions are ongoing about extra healthcare providers, and we are ready to step up."

The province has instituted a six-week stay-at-home order, as well as non-essential travel restrictions.


Europe leads the continents with 975,452 deaths and 42,835,942 cases. Over one week, its deaths dropped 3% and cases decreased 5%. Worldwide the figures are 7% for deaths and 14% for cases.

Six European nations are in the top 10 for most deaths: Britain fifth with 127,270, Italy sixth with 116,927, Russia seventh with 105,582, France eighth with 100,733, Germany ninth with 80,566 and Spain 10th with 76,981. Poland is 13th with 62,032, including 207 Sunday after 616 Saturday, which was the fourth-most in the world. Also, Ukraine is 18th at 39,786, including 250 Sunday and 440 Saturday.

In Europe, vaccinations rates for the first dose are 48.9% in Britain, 19.4% in Spain, 19.1% in Germany, 19.0% in France, 17.4% in Italy, 16.9% in Poland, 5.5% in Russia, 1% in Ukraine.

Pregnant women in Britain have become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Britain reported 10 deaths Sunday from a peak of 1,823 on Jan. 20 and cases were 1,882 from a high of 68,053 on Jan. 8.

As Britain eases out of a lockdown, France remains under one through the end of April, including schools closed, among a surge in cases and deaths.

In France, cases surged to 43,505 Wednesday from from a record 88,790 on Nov. 7. Sunday's increase was 29,344.


Deaths were 140, way down from a fall peak of 932 and a record 1,437 on April 15. On Saturday, France announced there will be a 10-day mandatory quarantine on those arriving from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Earlier, France announced a temporary suspension of all flights from Brazil.

Italy will ease coronavirus curbs in many areas on April 26, which is one week earlier than planned. They include allowing outdoor dining, indoor cinemas and theaters, and reopening schools.

Italy reported 251 deaths Sunday compared with the record 993 on Dec. 3.

For the second week in a row, cases stayed under 20,000, including 12,694 Saturday. The record was 40,896 on Nov. 13.

On Sunday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel attended memorial events to remember the 80,566 deaths, including 40 so far Sunday. Cases were 7,090 with the record 31,553.

"We are worn out by the burden of the pandemic and rubbed raw by the argument about the right way to deal with it," Steinmeier said. "That's another reason why we need a moment to pause, a moment beyond daily politics, a moment that allows us to look together at the human tragedy of the pandemic."


Merkel is seeking passage of a bill in Parliament that would require nationwide orders for the closure of stores, cultural and sports facilities, limits on personal contacts and nighttime curfews. Currently, Germany's 16 states establish their own rules.

Russia's new deaths and cases also have been trending down. Cases were last above 10,000 on March 14 with Sunday's rise at 8,632.

And deaths were last more than 500 on Feb. 13 with Sunday's increase at 389, down from a peak of 635.

Spain, like many nations, is in the midst of a fourth wave.

Spain didn't report data on the weekend after 99 deaths Friday compared with a winter peak of 766 on Feb. 6 and a record 996 on April 2. Cases increased by 10,598, behind the mark of 35,118 in January.

All regions in Spain, except Madrid, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, are still subject to a perimeter lockdown and curfews through May 9 from six months ago.

Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 1,173 deaths and 61,206 cases.

New Zealand's deaths remain at 26 with the last one reported on Feb. 16 and Australia's toll stands at 909 with the last two deaths occurring on Nov. 30 and Dec. 29.


New Zealand reported four cases Sunday, tallying 21 in one week, for a total of 2,595, and Australia was up 19 Sunday for 29,402, which is 111 in a week.

Australia has vaccines available for 2.9% of the population with dosage administration not available.

Unless there is a dramatic boost in Pfizer supplies, experts have warned the Australian population is unlikely to get COVID-19 vaccinations until the end of next year.

Africa has reported 117,995 deaths and 4,462,051 cases.

South Africa has 53,711 deaths, including 48 on Saturday and 1,325 cases. Infections reached a high of 21,980 on Jan. 8 and deaths at 839 on Jan. 19. Egypt is second with 12,694 and Tunisia third with 9,717.

South Africa, which is dealing with a variant, has vaccinated 0.5% of its population with its first dose.

Among continents, Africa has the slowest rate of vaccinations with 1.1%, according to tracking by The New York Times. North America leads with 39%, followed by Europe at 23%, South America at 14%, Asia at 8.6% and Oceania at 3.7%.

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