India continues to break its own records for coronavirus infections and this Friday recorded 414,188 cases in just 24 hours, in addition to touching the 4,000 daily deaths, in the middle of a virulent second wave that has caused a health collapse and oxygen shortage.

The number of infections since the start of the pandemic in this country of about 1,350 million inhabitants now stands at 21.4 million, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health, making India the second most affected country in the world only behind the United States (32.6 according to Johns Hopkins University).

India also recorded 3,915 deaths from covid-19, a figure somewhat lower than the record registered yesterday and that brings the total number of deaths to 234,083.

The vaccination program opened last Saturday to the entire population over 18 years of age is seen as the main hope to get out of this crisis, in the midst of a virulent second wave and while health authorities have warned in recent days that a third wave of the virus is inevitable.

The country has administered 2.3 million vaccines in the last 24 hours, a number on the rise after being slowed down by underdose in various states. The country has administered 164 million injections since the “world’s largest vaccination program” began last January.

A woman is vaccinated with COVID-19 in India

A woman is vaccinated with COVID-19 in India

However, to date just over 2% of the Indian population has been fully inoculated with one of the country’s approved formulas, AstraZeneca’s Covishield, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), or Covaxin, from the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech; to which is added the imported Russian Sputnik V.

The second wave of the pandemic has put the Indian healthcare system on edge, with oxygen shortages and beds in cities like New Delhi.

This increase in cases has been attributed in part to a relaxation of measures against the coronavirus by the population and the organization of mass events, such as huge electoral rallies or the Kumbh Mela religious festival.

The Indian Government has recognized, however, that the spectacular increase in cases in the last month and a half in many states of the country shows a “correlation” with the greater presence of the “double mutant” Indian variant B.1.617.

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