COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 300,000 in India, Third Highest in the World

2.1 million samples analyzed in the preceding 24 hours
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Police and administrative officials inspect an area where dead bodies were buried in the sand near a cremation ground on the banks of the Ganges River in Shringaverpur village, around 40 km from All

India has reached a new low point. The coronavirus claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people on May 24, as a deadly spike of infections appeared to be lessening in major cities but was engulfing the poorer countryside.

According to public health specialists, the death toll could be five times greater than previously estimated figures, approaching one million.

The achievement, according to India's Health Ministry, comes as sluggish vaccine delivery have hampered the country's campaign against the pandemic, causing many people to miss their vaccinations, and physicians are concerned about a rare but lethal fungal illness afflicting COVID-19 patients.

After the United States and Brazil, India has the third-highest reported death toll in the world, accounting for 8.6% of the over 34.7 million coronavirus fatalities worldwide, while the exact figures are estimated to be much higher.

The Health Ministry announced 4,454 new deaths in the last 24 hours on Monday, increasing the total number of deaths in India to 303,720. It also reported 222,315 additional cases, bringing the total number of infections to nearly 27 million since the outbreak began. Both of these figures are very definitely undercounted.

The pandemic has flooded India's underfunded health care system after spreading fast across the country, from remote Himalayan communities in the north to the huge humid central plains and sandy beaches in the south.

Residents in New Delhi's capital have perished at home due to a lack of oxygen after hospitals ran out of supply. COVID-19 patients have died in packed hospital corridors in Mumbai. People in rural communities died of fever and shortness of breath before being tested for coronavirus.

While the megacities have shown signs of recovery in recent days, the virus is far from over in India. It appears to have already taken a terrible toll in the vast rural sections of the country, where the majority of the population lives and health care is scarce.

Hundreds of dead have washed up on the Ganges River's banks in Uttar Pradesh in recent weeks. Many more have been discovered buried in shallow graves along the river's sandy shores. Concerns have been raised that they are the remains of COVID-19 victims.

In India, the vaccination campaign has slowed significantly, with many states claiming they don't have enough vaccines to distribute.

Only 41.6 million people, or 3.8 percent of the world's 1.4 billion people, have been properly vaccinated in the world's greatest vaccine-producing nation. To “minimize vaccine wastage,” the federal authorities authorized walk-in registration at government-run vaccination sites for persons aged 18 to 44 on May 24.

On March 12, 2020, in the state of Karnataka in southern India, the first reported COVID-19 death occurred. The first 100,000 people who died took seven months to reach. In late April, the official death toll surpassed 200,000. After fresh infections tore across dense cities and rural areas alike, overwhelming health care systems on the verge of collapse, the next 100,000 deaths were documented in just 27 days.

In recent weeks, average daily deaths and cases have declined marginally, and the government announced on May 23 that it is doing the most COVID-19 tests ever, with more than 2.1 million samples analyzed in the preceding 24 hours.