India continues to report a record number of fresh Covid-19 cases and deaths daily, even as states tighten restrictions to contain the second wave of the pandemic that has overwhelmed the nation’s healthcare system.
Nearly 3.5 lakh people tested positive for the virus in a 24-hour period, once again marking the highest number of new infections recorded by any country in a single day, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on April 25.
Deaths due to the coronavirus continued to rise, overwhelming the country’s crematoriums and burial grounds. 2,767 people succumbed to illness in just 24 hours, taking India’s total death toll to 1.92 lakh.
Maharashtra and Rajasthan became the latest states to promise free vaccination for everyone above the age of 18, after India opened its inoculation programme to all adults starting May 1.
Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim and Goa have already announced free jabs. In West Bengal, where polls are underway, both incumbent Trinamool National Congress and the challenger Bharatiya Janata Party have promised free vaccination to adults.
Global Aid Coming
The U.S. has promised to immediately make available raw materials required to manufacture Covishield vaccine. The Biden administration said it has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment that will also be made available for India.
The U.S. is also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.
European Commission officials also issued brief comments on social media indicating assistance from EU countries. U.K.’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said vital medical equipment was on the way from his country.