India set a new record with 4529 Covid patients who died in the last 24 hours, the highest-ever in a day, and 2.67 lakh fresh infections were logged as a deadly second wave continues to affect lakhs every day in the country.
This is the seventh time since May 12 when India has registered over 4,000 daily deaths due to Covid. The country has been logging less than 3 lakh infections since May 17.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on May 18 informed that the Positivity rate is higher than 15 per cent in 22 states. India’s average positivity rate stood at 13.31 per cent this May 19 morning. In the last 24 hours, 20,08,296 samples were tested in a new record. The government on the same day said that 1.8 per cent of the country’s population has contracted the virus so far.
According to a top official, “Despite the high number of cases reported so far, we have been able to contain the spread to under 2 per cent of the population. We can’t let our guards down, hence continued focus on containment is critical.”
Many states are still not able to step up the vaccination drive due to the shortage of vaccine. The centre, however, said over 1.94 crore doses are still available with the states to be administered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 18 assured that “Vaccination is an effective means of fight Covid and we should together remove all misgivings about it. We are making relentless efforts to increase vaccine supply in a big way.”
Meanwhile, India has witnessed the deaths of 270 doctors ever since it was hit by the second wave. The list of the doctors who died includes former IMA president Dr KK Aggarwal, who died of the deadly COVID-19 virus on May 17.