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India Breaks Record for Daily COVID-19 Deaths

Credit: Unsplash

While it may feel like the pandemic is finally drawing toward a conclusion here in the United States, elsewhere in the world, it’s only getting worse. Due to a combination of factors including population density, low access to vaccines, and frightening mutant variants and afflictions, India is now the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Thursday, India has set a new global record for most COVID-19-related deaths in a single day, recording 6,148 deaths in a 24-hour period, surpassing the daily death record previously set by the United States. New cases reported daily have only just managed to skirt under 100,000 for the past three days, and the majority of cases and deaths seem to be occurring in India’s poorer areas. One of those areas, the Indian state of Bihar, revised its total COVID-19 death total upwards from 5,400 to over 9,400, now accounting for those who died in private locations rather than public hospitals.

This is all part of a surging second wave of the pandemic that began in India in February and has only just begun to slow down after its peak in May. Hospitals are running low not just on beds, oxygen, and medicine, but medical staff. Due to prolonged exposure to patients, doctors and nurses are themselves succumbing to the coronavirus. The Indian government has already begun projecting a potential third wave of infection for the fall season.

Experts agree that the best way to prevent this catastrophe from escalating any further is to focus on the vaccine rollout. India has had a difficult time of circulating vaccines, with dose shortages and bureaucratic tie-ups slowing down the process. It’s because of these problems that only around 5% of India’s population have been fully vaccinated. It is the Indian government’s hopes that around 2 billion doses of vaccines will be available by December, all of which will be given out free of charge by order of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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