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India reports COVID-19 records again: 349,691 daily cases, 2,767 deaths

By Allen Cone
1/6
India reports COVID-19 records again: 349,691 daily cases, 2,767 deaths
An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard near temporary barricade during curfew in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, on Sunday. The government imposed curfew on Saturday from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday in an effort to control the spread of coronavirus. Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA-EFE

April 25 (UPI) -- As nations generally are controlling the coronavirus pandemic with restrictions and ramped-up vaccinations, India is bucking the trend with record-setting, exponential increased deaths and cases.

The Asian nation with the world's second-largest population, 1.4 billion, broke the world record for most infections in one day, including 349,691 Sunday. And India has set records for most deaths in the country with 2,767 in the past 24 hours.

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The global death toll stands at 3,122,428 and cases are at 147,780,731, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. For months, the United States has led the world in fatalities with 571,9882,200 and infections with 32,077,076, according to Johns Hopkins.

India is fourth in deaths at 192,311, behind Brazil with 390,925 and Mexico with 214,947. In cases, India is second with 16,960,172, ahead of Brazil with 14,340,787.

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But in the past few weeks, India's deaths and cases have been skyrocketing.

In one week, cases rose by 2,172,063 at 14.7% and deaths by 15,161 at 8.6%. Those numbers dwarf other nations. Comparatively, the U.S. gained one-fifth of India's total cases and about 300 less than the number of deaths.

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On Saturday, with a previous record 346,786 new cases, the country accounted for 42.2% of the world total of 830,064, behind the record 897,838 Friday. The number of new deaths: 2,624.

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The United States previously held the daily record for most cases in one day with 299,786 on Jan. 2.

Sunday's increased deaths were 9,924 and cases rose by 727,349, so India rose by 48.7%.

Despite the record numbers, India's per capita figures are lower than the world -- 139 deaths per million and 12,279 cases. The world average is 399.8 deaths and 18,899 cases with the United States at 1,762 fatalities and 98,596 infections. Brazil has 1,822 deaths per million and 66,928 cases per million.

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Until earlier this month, India's cases mark was less than 100,000.

For the past few days, India's increased cases were more than the global total of 340,482 on March 15 when India reported nearly 25,000.

Six weeks ago, India's Health Minister declared the country was "in the endgame."

But now hospitals are overwhelmed with intensive care beds, medicine, oxygen and ventilators in scarce. And mass cremations are taking place as bodies pile up.

"I'm speaking to you at a time when COVID-19 is testing our patience and capacity to bear pain," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday in a monthly radio address. "Many of our loved ones have left us in an untimely way. After successfully tackling the first wave, the nation's morale was high, it was confident. But this storm has shaken the nation."

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Modi stressed the need to get vaccinated. On Monday, India announced that people 18 or older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting Saturday.

Although India is a major producer of vaccines, the nation has been lagging in the rollout.

On Saturday, the health ministry said it had administered nearly 141 million doses of vaccines, including 2.4 million of those in the past 24 hours. India has vaccinated 8.7% of its population with at least one dose.

In all, more than 1 billion 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 41.8% of its population with Brazil at 13.6%, according to tracking by Bloomberg. Britain, which inoculated the first person in the world in December, is among the best in the world with 50.2%.

India is administering both the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield, and its homegrown Covaxin.

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.

India is running low on raw materials to produce vaccines as well as other products. The United States had refused to lift an export ban on the raw materials but on Sunday announced it is allowing the exports for vaccines. Britain and the European Union have pledged aid.

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"We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. "I'm determined to make sure the U.K. does everything it can to support the international community in the global fight against pandemic."

China, where the virus originated, also has offered to help India.

"The Chinese government and people firmly support the Indian government and people in fighting the coronavirus," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Friday. "China is ready to provide support and help according to India's needs, and is in communication with the Indian side on this."

COVID-19 originated in Mainland China, but the nation has reported only a few deaths in the past 12 months and stands in 58th at 4,636 behind North Macedonia with 4,650. China added 13 cases Sunday.

China has enough vaccine for 7.7% of its population with dosage percentages not available.

With a stronger deviant, B.1.617, discovered in the nation, Germany and South Korea announced new travel restrictions involving India starting Sunday.

South Korea has largely contained the pandemic though it has vaccinated only 4.2% of its population with at least one dose.

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The nation of people 51.3 million people has 1,813 deaths, including one more Sunday, and 118,887, with a rise of 644. The record is 40 deaths and 1,241 cases.

Asia ranks third in deaths at 495,503 and fourth in cases at 37,042,853 among the continents.

In the Far East, Indonesia has the most deaths, 44,494 in 17th place with 94 reported Sunday.

Japan is 41st with 9,990 deaths, including 51 on Sunday with the record 120. Cases are 4,607 with the record 7,882.

In Japan, just three months before the Summer Olympics, the nation has announced emergency measures in Tokyo and three other areas that took effect Sunday for a planned two weeks.

"I sincerely apologize for causing trouble for many people again," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said about the third state of emergency since the pandemic began. "It is feared that contagion in major cities will spread across the whole country if we take no measures."

Japan has vaccinated only 1.3% of the population with at least one dose.

Israel, which is considered part of Asia, has fully vaccinated 59.4% of its population, among the best in the world. Its death toll is 6,350, rising by 16 in one week and none Sunday.

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In South America, four nations are in the top 20 for most deaths. Besides Brazil, Colombia is in 11th with 71,351, Argentina in 14th with 61,644 and Peru in 15th with 59,724.

In all, the continent's death toll is 651,342 and 24,262,8954 cases.

Brazil's deaths are down from a record 4,211 on April 6. Sunday's increase was 1,316 after Saturday's increase of 2,986. Cases were 32,572 Sunday one day after 70,105 compared with a record 97,586 in March.

Deaths have been surging in Colombia with 465 Sunday. Peru gained 284 and Argentina 170. On Friday, Argentina set a record with 556 reported fatalities.

Chile, which ranks 23rd in the world with 25,856, including 114 Sunday, leads South America in vaccination percentage with 41.6% of its 19.3 million population receiving at least one shot.

In Brazil, a growing percentage of young people have gotten coronavirus.

Last month, 3,405 Brazilians up to the age 39 died from COVID, almost four times the number in January.

"Because they're young and the virus first infected the elderly population, they don't believe or don't want to believe that it can be serious," said Dr. Suzana Morais, a cardiologist in Rio de Janeiro, told Bloomberg. "I've seen many young patients who are surprised. Others are aware but take risks."

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Europe has reported 998,380 deaths and 43,904,361 cases though the numbers have been going down. Over one week, its deaths dropped 6% and cases decreased 12%. Worldwide the figures are 8% increase for deaths and also 8% for cases.

Six European nations are in the top 10 for most deaths: Britain fifth with 127,428, Italy sixth with 119,238, Russia seventh with 108,232, France eighth with 102,858, Germany ninth with 82,237 and Spain 10th with 76,981. Poland is 13th with 65,415, but several times in the past week it has posted the fourth-most deaths in the world with 193 Sunday after 513 Saturday. In addition, Ukraine is 18th at 42,323, including 231 Sunday after 392 Saturday.

Behind Britain in vaccinations are 22.8% in Germany, 22.4% in Spain, 21.3% in France, 20.1% in Italy, 19.8% in Poland, 7.6% in Russia, 1.3% in Ukraine.

Britain's statistics are drastically down from a peak of 1,823 deaths on Jan. 20 and 68,053 cases on Jan. 8. On Sunday, the kingdom reported 11 deaths and 1,712 cases.

Like Britain, France has been easing out of a lockdown. The nationwide restrictions, including schools closed and a curfew, ends at the end of the month on Friday.

"This may be the peak of the epidemic, or close to it," Gabriel Attal, a government spokeswoman said Wednesday after the government's weekly cabinet meeting. "Mid-May there will be a first step with the reopening of venues that have been closed, such as shops and some café terraces and cultural venues."

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COVID-19 cases however remain high in France with 43,000 new cases recorded on Tuesday, from a record 88,790 on Nov. 7 then 24,465 Sunday. Deaths were 145, way down from a fall peak of 932 and a record 1,437 on April 15.

Italy will ease coronavirus curbs in many areas on Monday. They include allowing outdoor dining for lunch and reopening schools.

The existing nightly curfew of 10 p.m. will be retained until at least June 1.

For five weeks, Italy has been divided between high-risk red and medium-risk orange zones.

There will be no travel restrictions between lower-risk yellow zones and the introduction of a Green Pass allowing people to travel between all of Italy's 20 regions if they recovered from coronavirus or have been vaccinated.

Italy reported 217 deaths Sunday compared with the record 993 on Dec. 3. Cases were 13,158 down from a record 40,896.

In Germany, the Parliament on Wednesday approved changes to the Infection Protection Law, which gives Chancellor Angela Merkel nationwide power to close stores, cultural and sports facilities, limits on personal contacts and nighttime curfews. Currently, Germany's 16 states establish their own rules. The emergency orders are based on infection data.

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The nation reported 43 deaths Sunday after 258 Saturday from a high of 1,244. And cases were 12,014 Sunday, down from a record 31,553.

In Russia, deaths and cases are increasing at a lower rate. Cases were last above 10,000 on March 14 with Sunday's rise at 8,780.

And deaths were last more than 500 on Feb. 13 with Sunday's increase at 332, down from a peak of 635.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday supported a proposal by the head of Russia's health watchdog to introduce a non-working period for 10 days from Saturday to May 11.

Spain didn't report data on the weekend after 95 deaths Friday compared with a winter peak of 766 on Feb. 6 and a record 996 on April 2. Cases increased by 11,731, behind the mark of 35,118 in January.

The fourth wave "can't be compared with the previous ones and it appears to be stabilizing now," Jesus Molina Cabrillana, a spokesman for the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene told El Pais., citing the vaccination campaign.

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.

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In North America, the nonessential travel ban among Mexico, Canada and the United States has been extended through May 21. It began one year ago in March.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday "we are guided by science and public health data and engaged in discussions with Canada and Mexico about easing restrictions as health conditions improve."

Mexico reported 94 deaths Sunday after 439 deaths Saturday. The single-day record is 1,803. Cases were 1,653 Sunday for a total of 2,328,391, which ranks 15th.

"The pandemic is not over, we must be aware and follow the measures to take care of ourselves and everyone," Dr. Ana Lucia de la Garza, director of Epidemiological Operations Research, said in a report by Vallarta Daily.

North America is second behind Europe for deaths, 855,558 and cases with 37,962,573.

Mexico was the first Latin American nation to begin administering vaccinations, but the rate is low at 8.5% for at least one dose.

Canada's rate is 24.5%, which is 17 percentage points below its neighbor to the south.

But Canada has far fewer deaths than the United States, and its death per million is almost one-third of its neighbor at 630.

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Canada's deaths have been under triple digits since 142 on Feb. 3 with 38 reported Sunday for a total of 23,965. Cases were 5,539, behind the record 11,383.

"It's the darkness before dawn. There's really no question that the situation in Canada is very tough. And many, many people are suffering," Dr. Peter Singer, special advisor to the director-general of the World Health Organization, told The West Block's Mercedes Stephenson in an interview.

He said the vaccine rollout public health measures, "means that this pandemic will end."

Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 1,187 deaths and 62,353 cases.

New Zealand's deaths remain at 26 with the last one reported on Feb. 16 and Australia's toll stayed at 910 with one reported April 13 after the last one Dec. 29.

New Zealand reported no cases Sunday, tallying six in one week, for a total of 2,601, and Australia was up five Sunday for 29,661, which is 259 in a week.

Australia has vaccines available for 3.7% of the population with dosage administration not available. New Zealand has administered first doses to 2.9% of its population.

Western Australia, with more than 2 million people, went into a three-day lockdown Saturday after one new locally acquired coronavirus case was reported. A returning traveler who tested negative on release from a Perth quarantine hotel later tested positive for COVID-19 with authorities suspecting he became infected while in the hotel.

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Africa has reported 120,443 deaths and 4,544,970 cases.

South Africa has 54,148 deaths, including 23 on Saturday and 1,101 cases. Infections reached a high of 21,980 on Jan. 8 and deaths at 839 on Jan. 19. Egypt is second with 13,049 and Tunisia third with 10,304.

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

South African health officials plan to extend vaccinations to the general public starting in May. Earlier, people over 60 years old were among the first to be inoculated.

Among continents, Africa has the slowest rate of vaccinations with 1.2%, according to tracking by The New York Times. North America leads with 43%, followed by Europe at 27%, South America at 16%, Asia at 9.9% and Oceania at 5.0%.

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