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02nd May 2021

India records deadliest day as country struggles with Covid-19 surge

Simon Lloyd

Experts belief the real numbers are markedly higher than those reported

India has recorded its highest coronavirus death toll for a single day, as the country struggles to cope with a huge surge in new cases.

The day after becoming the first country to record over 400,000 new cases of the virus in a 24-hour period, India’s health ministry said 3,689 people had died in a day.

The scale of the crisis has become evident over the last week, with hospitals across the country overwhelmed with an influx of patients and struggling with chronic shortages of beds and oxygen supplies.

A number of distressing videos have emerged in recent days, some showing family members of those suffering with the virus pleading with police not to remove limited oxygen supplies.

India is the world’s biggest producer of Covid-19 vaccines, yet the country’s problems have been partly blamed on a shortage of supplies available internally.

With the number of new cases continuing to build, the country has placed a temporary hold on the export of AstraZeneca vaccines being produced on Indian soil.

All adults in the country are eligible for coronavirus jabs but plans to launch a mass vaccination drive were met with problems on Saturday as several states reported a shortage of doses.

While the latest death figures add to the growing concerns that the spread of the virus in the country is already beyond control, some experts have warned the actual figures are markedly higher than those recorded – pointing to low testing rates and the number of people dying at home.