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India Has Recorded More Than 200,000 Daily COVID-19 Cases For The First Time

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COVID Spreading In Rural India; Record Daily Rises In Infections, Deaths

For the first time, India has recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day, taking the country’s total cases to more than 14 million.

Nearly one hundred seventy-five thousand fatalities were also recorded as a result of complications from the virus.

India has seen a massive increase in daily cases in the last few weeks, prompting many cities to announce new restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.

The Indian government has decided against a nationwide lockdown.

Authorities say the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases puts more stress on India’s health infrastructure as many hospitals now report shortages of beds and oxygen cylinders.

India is currently the second most affected country globally after the U.S. in terms of COVID-19 cases.

The country launched its vaccination drive in mid-January, so far administering more than 100 million vaccine doses.

The Indian government this week also approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use.

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India Tops 24 Million COVID-19 Cases As New Variant Spreads Across Globe

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India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised an alarm over the rapid spread of the highly transmissible coronavirus mutant first detected in the country as the official tally of infections crossed 24 million, and 4,000 persons died for the third straight day.

Jairo Mendez, a World Health Organization infectious diseases expert said the Indian B.1.617 variant of the virus has been found in cases in eight countries of the Americas, including Canada and the United States.

Mendez said “These variants have a greater capacity for transmission, but so far we have not found any collateral consequences” adding that “the only worry is that they spread faster.”

People infected by the variant included travellers in Panama and Argentina who had arrived from India or Europe. In the Caribbean, cases of the Indian variant have been detected in Aruba, Dutch St Maarten and the French department of Guadeloupe.

The mutant strain has also been detected in Britain, as well as in Singapore.

According to health ministry data, India recorded 4,000 deaths and 343,144 infections in the last 24 hours.

Public Health England said the total number of confirmed cases of the variant had more than doubled in the past week to 1,313 across the United Kingdom.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said “We are anxious about it – it has been spreading,” adding that there would be meetings to discuss what to do. “We’re ruling nothing out.”

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WATCH: WTO Considers COVID-19 Vaccine Patents Rights

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W.H.O. Urges Waiver Of COVID-19 Patent Rules

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Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated its call on manufacturing companies and countries to waive COVID-19 vaccine patent rules to enable the jabs to be produced more widely in countries with low vaccination rates.

W.H.O. director general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus expressed disappointment that delegates had so far been reluctant to back the proposal at the World Trade Organization put forward by South Africa and India.

The world health body has also said it needs between 35 billion to 45 billion dollars to fund its Covax vaccination programme for low income countries next year.

Meanwhile, American drug firm Moderna has pledged half a billion doses of its vaccine to Covax over this year and next year.

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