| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

Indian states impose tighter lockdowns as COVID deaths hit record high

India reported on Saturday its highest ever single-day coronavirus death toll, as infections continued to rise and states imposed more stringent lockdowns.

India’s health ministry recorded 4,187 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall death toll to just under 240,000. Infections rose by 401,078, increasing the total since the pandemic began to 21.9 million.

The real numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths are likely to be far higher than official figures, according to medical experts.

Tamil Nadu, known for its automobile manufacturing including Hyundai, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Renault and Nissan, announced that it would move from a partial to a full lockdown on Monday, halting public transport and closing state-run alcohol retailers.

Late on Friday, neighboring Karnataka state extended a total shutdown. The state capital Bengaluru is a major tech hub, home to major offices of companies including Amazon, Google and Cisco.

The country is yet to impose a national lockdown as it did during its 1st wave last year, but nearly half of all its states have imposed a total shutdown. The rest are under a partial shutdown.

Although it is the world’s biggest vaccine maker, India is struggling to produce and distribute enough jabs to stem the wave of the coronavirus.

Although the country has administered more than 167 million vaccine shots, its rate of vaccination has fallen sharply in recent days and only around 2% of its 1.4 billion people have received the two jabs needed to be fully immunized.

  • Reuters