Daily count crosses 4 lakh as vaccination drive begins amid shortage

There were 3,523 new fatalities, including 828 from Maharashtra, 375 from Delhi, 332 from Uttar Pradesh, 269 from Chhattisgarh and 217 from Karnataka

COVID cases may peak between May 3 and 5, according to a mathematical model of a team of scientists advising the government. File Photo

The COVID case count in India has crossed the 4 lakh mark with over 3,500 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The number of cases on Saturday (May 1) stood at 4,01,993 and deaths at 3,523 as per health Ministry data. The surge comes on day when the country launched the third vaccination drive – said to be the world’s largest – amid reports of vaccine shortage.

Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have said their vaccine stocks are low. The Centre maintains that 1 crore doses are still available with the states.

Also read: Experts urge Kerala government to impose lockdown immediately

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Registering a steady increase, the active cases stood at 32,68,710, accounting for 17.06 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 81.84 per cent. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 28,83,37,385 samples have been tested up to April 30, of which 19,45,299 were done on Friday.

The 3,523 new fatalities include 828 from Maharashtra, 375 from Delhi, 332 from Uttar Pradesh, 269 from Chhattisgarh, 217 from Karnataka, 173 from Gujarat, 155 from Rajasthan, 122 from Uttarakhand and 120 from Jharkhand, 113 each from Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

The Health Ministry said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

COVID cases in the country may peak next week between May 3 and 5, according to a mathematical model of a team of scientists advising the government, Reuters reported. “Our belief is that by next week, the daily new cases nationwide would have peaked,” M Vidyasagar, head of a government-appointed group of scientists modelling the trajectory of infections, told the news agency.

Also read: 18 patients die in fire at COVID hospital in Gujarat

The Supreme Court on April 30 warned action against states if they tried to clamp down on information or citizens sharing grievances on social media. “If citizens communicate their grievances on social media, we do not want a clampdown on information. We will treat this as contempt if any citizen is harassed if they want bed or oxygen,” Justice DY Chandrachud said during a hearing.

Prime Minister Modi held a meeting with his council of ministers on April 30 and “discussed the various steps being undertaken including coordination with the states, augmenting medical capacities and boosting oxygen availability.”

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