India has recorded its highest ever official death toll from COVID-19 after reporting 4,205 new deaths between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The new deaths pushed the number of confirmed deaths in India to above 250,000 as the country struggles with the devastating wave caused by the new variant – B.1.617.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 12, 2021
Slight drop in cases
However, there was a slight reduction in new cases, as the Union Health Ministry confirmed 348,421 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours. That pushed the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 23,340,938.
Recoveries rose by more than 355,000, putting the recovery figures at over 19 million, a recovery rate of 82.6 per cent. That gives some good hope amidst all the gloom, though it could be little comfort for those losing loved ones to COVID-19.
This was the second day straight that active cases were declining, dropping from a high of over 410,000 in a day to the current figures.
High positivity rate
According to the Indian Express, however, many of the country’s districts still report positivity rates of more than 10 per cent. As many as 533 of the country’s over 700 districts still have a high positivity rate.
This revelation underlines the widespread of infections deep in rural areas as the second wave bites hard.
Bodies in rivers
Furthermore, reports say that authorities in India recovered 71 bodies in a river in Bihar state on Monday, while around 100 bodies were found in a river in Uttar Pradesh.
“Although there is no global research on whether the virus could spread in water bodies, I strongly believe the water is now polluted,” Dr. Mohsin Wali told VOA News.
Most bodies were found in a decomposed state, which meant that autopsies to determine the cause(s) of death were inconclusive.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has faced a barrage of criticism for allowing massive gatherings even as infections soared dangerously. He had allowed religious festival and political gatherings, some of which he holds, to continue unabated.
The news comes after the WHO called the B.1.617 variant a ‘variant of concern’, meaning it posed a global risk due to being more transmissible.