India logs lowest daily rise in virus cases in nearly three months

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FILED - Health care workers rush with an oxygen cylinder on a stretcher at Jaipur Golden hospital where at least 25 Covid-19 patient passed away the previous night due to shortage of medical oxygen. India registered 349,691 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, a new global record for infections on a single day, with the pandemic pushing the healthcare system to the brink and hospitals reporting deaths due to a shortage of medical oxygen. Photo: Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa
FILED - Health care workers rush with an oxygen cylinder on a stretcher at Jaipur Golden hospital where at least 25 Covid-19 patient passed away the previous night due to shortage of medical oxygen. India registered 349,691 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, a new global record for infections on a single day, with the pandemic pushing the healthcare system to the brink and hospitals reporting deaths due to a shortage of medical oxygen. Photo: Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa

India recorded 58,419 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours on Sunday, the lowest daily figure in nearly three months, as the second wave of the pandemic continues to wane in the country.

The overall caseload climbed to 29.88 million, a federal Health Ministry bulletin said, the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States.

Daily infections were at the lowest since March 24, when India logged 53,476 cases, according to data on the website of Johns Hopkins University.

The daily numbers represent a sharp slowdown from the peak of the second wave in early May when India was registering over 400,000 cases every day.

A total of 1,576 deaths were reported on Sunday, bringing the overall death toll to 386,713, the ministry said.

Experts say both coronavirus infections and related deaths in India are likely much higher due to undercounting by government agencies.

Many Indian states have begun easing regional lockdowns amid the receding second wave.

Courts and federal government have however urged regional governments to ensure physical distancing and coronavirus-appropriate behaviour as huge crowds thronged markets and malls.

Randeep Guleria, a top government doctor and advisor, has also warned that a third Covid-19 wave may hit India in six to eight weeks if people lowered their guard.

India’s main challenge remains vaccinating its huge population, he said. So far, only 3.8 per cent of the more than 1.3 billion inhabitants in India have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

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