India's daily cases surge to 50% of world total with 800,000 over two days

By Allen Cone
A COVID-19 patient receives free oxygen, provided at a Gurudwara, a Sikh Temple, in Ghaziabad, India's Uttar Pradesh State on Saturday. Photo by Abhishek/UPI
1 of 5 | A COVID-19 patient receives free oxygen, provided at a Gurudwara, a Sikh Temple, in Ghaziabad, India's Uttar Pradesh State on Saturday. Photo by Abhishek/UPI | License Photo

May 2 (UPI) -- The coronavirus pandemic is escalating in India with half the world's cases, including 800,000 over two days, and more than one-quarter of the deaths but only 5% of the residents vaccinated and medical resources in short supply.

Numerous states in India have placed under lockdowns, including capital New Delhi's union territory through May. 10. And several nations, including the United States and neighboring Nepal, are instituting travel bans from the country.


The Asian nation, which is the second-most populous in the world with 1.4 billion, has surged to 215,542 deaths, which is fourth place in the world behind the United States with 577,045 as of Sunday, Brazil with 407,639 and Mexico with 217,233. Cases are 15,992,271, second to the United States with 32,421,524, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins.

India has recorded 6.7% of the world's 3,213,019 deaths and 10.4% of the 153,480,005 cases, according to


But in the last few weeks, India has been dominating the world. In one week, India's cases have grown by 20%, or 2.2 million, and deaths by 53%, or more than 15,000.

India became the first country in the world to pass 400,000 daily cases on Saturday with 401,993 and it dropped to 392,488 Sunday. The nation recorded a record 3,689 deaths Sunday after 3,523 Saturday.

And the cases may be a fraction of the total infected because testing is not that widespread.

"A nationwide lockdown rather than what we are doing now, in bits and pieces across states, because of the simple fact that it is spreading all over," a member of the nation's coronavirus task force said in a report by the Indian Express. "We are looking at the wrong end of tunnel.

"Healthcare infrastructure cannot expand indefinitely, oxygen supplies have been ramped up but still there is shortage given the case load. It's clear that we have to decrease the cases. It is a human-to-human spread. For at least two weeks, if we are able to stop that, we will decrease the case load. That will help decrease mortality, give some relief to health infrastructure and cut the cycle of transmission," a member said.


Until a few weeks ago, cases hadn't passed 100,000 and deaths were under 2,000. The United States previously held the daily record for most cases in one day with 299,786 on Jan. 2. The United States has the world record with 4,474 deaths reported in one day on Jan. 12.

Despite the record numbers, India's per capita figures are lower than the world -- 155 deaths per million and 14,057 cases. The world average is 411.3 deaths and 19,619 cases with the United States at 1,776 fatalities and 99,653 infections. Brazil has 1,901 deaths per million and 68,872 cases per million.

Throughout much of the world, the pandemic has been subsiding with more than 1.5 billion shots administered, according to tracking by Bloomberg. In India, just 2.1% of the population has been fully vaccinated and there are enough doses for 5.7% of the population.

But India is a prime producer of vaccines, exporting 66 million doses.

Among the world leaders in fatalities, the United States has administered at least one dose to 44.4% of its population with Brazil at 15%, according to tracking by Bloomberg. Britain, which inoculated the first person in the world in December, is among the best in the world with 51.4%.


India is administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield, and its homegrown Johnson, both based in the United States, as well as AstraZeneca in Britain.

The top vaccine makers are U.S.-based Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

On Saturday, India opened vaccines to everyone 18 and older. But multiple states have said they are short on supply. At the start of this year, India had hoped to fully vaccinate 300 million people by August. The government has purchased at least 205.5 million doses, according to data from the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, with India in the top 10.

Israel, which is considered part of Asia, has fully vaccinated 59.7% of its population, among the best in the world. Its death toll is 6,366, rising by 14 in one week, including three on Sunday.

Raw materials are in short supply in India with the United States and other nations promising to send materials.

Oxygen, hospital beds and personal protective equipment are also scarce throughout the nation including the capital state of Delhi, which is home to 19 million residents.

"There is a major issue of oxygen," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told ANI on Sunday. "Delhi requires 976 tons of oxygen daily but we have been allotted only 490 tons of oxygen. Yesterday we received only 312 tons. How will this work?"


A plane carrying the first shipment of medical aid from France to India departed from Paris on Saturday.

"There is only one solution to fight the virus: solidarity and cooperation," Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, a junior minister in the French Foreign Ministry, told journalists Saturday as medical equipment was being loaded onto a plane.

Britain will help India with "whatever we can, whatever they ask for," including vaccines, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Sunday on Sky News and the BBC.

Asia ranks third in deaths at 530,943 and fourth in cases at 40,492,569, among the continents. But Asia's 35,440 deaths in the past week ranked first.

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 Ireland with 4,906. China added 15 cases Sunday.

Turkey, which ranks 19th, reported 373 deaths Saturday and 340 Sunday for a total of 40,844. On Thursday, the nation entered its first national lockdown.

In the Far East, Indonesia has the most deaths, 45,796 in 17th place with 144 reported Sunday.

Japan is 41st with 10,400 deaths, including 61 on Sunday with the record 120. Cases are 5,900 with the record 7,882.


Japan has vaccinated only 2% of the population with at least one dose.

Less than three months before the Summer Olympics, the nation has announced emergency measures in Tokyo and three other areas that took effect one Sunday ago. Bars, department stores and theaters across Japan will remain closed for 17 days.

South Korea on Friday extended its tighter restrictions for three more weeks.

South Korea has vaccinated 6.4% of its population with at least one dose. The nation has 1,833 deaths, including two more Sunday, and 123,240 cases, with a rise of 606. The record is 40 deaths and 1,241 cases.

The pandemic is also surging in South America, which has four nations in the top 10. Besides Brazil, Colombia is in 11th with 74,700, Argentina in 14th with 64,252 and Peru in 15th with 62,126.

In all, the continent's death toll is 679,238 and 25,098,283 cases. In the past week, the continent rose by 27,947, which is 29.8% of the world total though the population is only 5.5%.

Brazil posted a record 4,211 on April 6 with Saturday's increase 2,278 and Sunday's 1,210. Cases were 28,935 compared with a record 97,586 in March.

Brazil's congress has launched a parliamentary inquiry into President Jair Bolsonaro's response to the pandemic. Bolsonaro, who has downplayed the pandemic and has refused to be vaccinated, called the inquiry the "death committee." He contracted the virus last summer.


"Eighty-six percent of Brazilians know someone or have a relative who has died -- we've never seen anything like this in Brazilian history," Amazonian senator Omar Aziz said after being elected the inquiry's president on Tuesday.

Deaths have been surging in Colombia with 485 Saturday that followed a record 495 Saturday, which was the fourth-highest in the world. On Thursday, Argentina set a record with 561 before 231 Saturday for 64,094 in 14th.

Chile, which ranks 23rd in the world with 26,561, including 104 Sunday, leads South America in vaccination percentage with 42.6% of its 19.3 million population receiving at least one shot.

Data have been trending down generally in Europe, which has reported 1,018,303 deaths and 44,775,222 cases. Over one week, its deaths dropped 12% and cases decreased 18%. Worldwide the figures are 5% increase for deaths and also 0.5% for cases.

Six European nations are in the top 10 for most deaths: Britain fifth with 127,538, Italy sixth with 121,177, Russia seventh with 110,862, France eighth with 104,819, Germany ninth with 83,826 and Spain 10th with 78,216. Poland is 13th at 68,068 with 144 Sunday but several times in the past week has posted more than 400, including 433 Saturday. In addition, Ukraine is 18th at 44,596, including 160 Sunday after 392 Saturday.


Behind Britain in vaccinations are 26.9% in Germany, 25.1% in France, 23.3% in Italy, 22.6% in Poland, 22.4% in Spain, 8.2% in Russia, 1.8% in Ukraine.

Statistics are much less than several months ago with Britain leading the way with 107 in the past week. France was at 2,120, Italy at 2,012, Germany at 1,668 and Spain at 618.

The biggest death gainers in Europe were Poland with 2,702, Russia with 2,620, Ukraine with 2,344.

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 14 deaths and 1,671 cases.

On Saturday, several thousand revelers descended on Liverpool for Britain's first legal rave in more than one year. It's a pilot event, called The First Dance, with no social distancing or masks required.

Britain is planning a study of 40,000 people who been exposed to coronavirus rather than a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

France also is easing out of a lockdown that began April 3. On Monday, residents can travel cross country. Bars and restaurants as well as cultural sites and non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen to customers on May 19. On June 30, all curfews will be lifted though nightclubs will remain closed.


France reported 113 deaths Sunday after a fall peak of 932 and a record 1,437 on April 15 one year ago. COVID-19 cases however remain relatively high in France with 9,888 Sunday compared with a record 88,790 on Nov. 7.

Italy also has eased restrictions, including allowing outdoor dining for lunch and reopening schools. More than half of Italy's 20 regions are in the more lenient "yellow zone," instead of orange and red.

Italy reported 144 deaths Sunday compared with the record 993 on Dec. 3. Cases were 9,148, down from a record 40,896.

Germany has been in a lockdown since November with parliament passing a law giving the federal government more powers to impose pandemic restrictions based on data.

The nation reported 124 deaths Sunday from a high of 1,244. And cases were 13,225, down from a record 31,553.

Russia reported 342 deaths and 8,697 cases from highs of 635 and 31,553. But the number of cases over the past seven days exceeded recoveries, according to TASS estimates, with it more severe in Moscow at 18,409 cases and 11,744 recoveries.

Spain didn't report data on the weekend after 136 deaths Friday compared with a winter peak of 766 on Feb. 6 and a record 996 on April 2. Cases increased by 9,135, 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.

In Brussels, Belgium, authorities fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse crowds of mainly young people at a party in a park in protest of restrictions on Saturday.

Belgium ranks 25th in the world with 24,258 deaths, including 28 Sunday.

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.

North America is second behind Europe for deaths with 863,840, and cases with 38,438,839.

Mexico was the first Latin American nation to begin administering vaccinations, but the rate is low at 9.7% for at least one dose.

Canada's rate is 29.7%, which is 14 percentage points below its neighbor to the south.

Mexico reported 261 deaths Saturday with the single-day record 1,803. Cases were 3,025 for a total of 2,347,780, which ranks 15th. Mexico has reported diminished hospitalizations with only 12% being used including 17% with ventilators.

Canada, which has 29% of Mexico's population, has reported under triple digits for deaths since 142 on Feb. 3 and a record 257 on Dec. 29 with 39 reported Sunday for a total of 24,300. Cases were 7,146, behind the record 11,383.


Unlike the United States, Canada has not given federal guidance on what residents can do after being vaccinated. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said domestic vaccine passports are being considered.

Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 1,202 deaths and 63,127 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.

New Zealand reported five cases Sunday, tallying 17 in one week, for a total of 2,618, and Australia was up 14, which is 165 in a week, for 29,826 total.

Australia has vaccines available for 4.4% of the population with dosage administration not available. New Zealand has administered first doses to 3.5% of its population.

Western Australians avoided a recent second COVID-19 lockdown after Premier Mark McGowan announced no new community cases. After one new locally acquired coronavirus case was reported, authorities locked down the region of 2 million people for three days through Monday.

Africa has reported 122,616 deaths and 4,611,244 cases.

South Africa has 54,417 deaths, including 11 on Saunday and 1,222 cases. Infections reached a high of 21,980 on Jan. 8 and deaths at 839 on Jan. 19. Egypt is second with 13,469 and Tunisia third with 10,868.


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 at 1.3%, according to tracking by The New York Times. North America leads with 47%, followed by Europe at 30%, South America at 18%, Asia at 12% and Oceania at 5.8%.

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