fredag 4. februar 2022

India's coronavirus death toll passes 500,000

India’s official death toll from Covid-19 has passed 500,000, even as many experts flag underreporting of cases across the country. The daily update from the country’s federal health ministry on Friday showed the number of deaths reaching 500,055, up 1,072 in the previous 24 hours. Total infections stood at 41.9m, according to the statistics, second only to the United States.

Case numbers have jumped in recent weeks owing to the highly infectious Omicron strain but rates have slowed in recent days and the health ministry last week said there were indications of a plateau in virus cases in several parts of the country. Experts said the Omicron wave would not cause many deaths or hospitalisations, but several states imposed restrictions on movement and have only now started easing them. Many analysts believe India actually reached the 500,000-death mark last year when it was hit by a devastating rise in Delta variant cases that brought its health care system close to collapse.

The wave caused at least 200,000 deaths as hospitals ran out of oxygen and patients scrambled desperately to source medicines.