India sees 2,000 COVID deaths amid calls for faster jab rollout
Narendra Modi has warned against overcrowding at tourist sites and has called for faster vaccinations, as official figures indicated a slower spread of new infections.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) said on Monday it feared large groups of tourists and pilgrims could become “super-spreader events” that will lead to a third wave. The IMA also warned against complacency.
“I will say very emphatically that it is not OK to have huge crowds in hill stations, markets, without wearing masks,” Modi said in comments posted on Twitter.
India has the world’s second-highest number of Covid-19 cases – 30.91 million – second only to the United States.
The country has a death toll of 410,784 many of whom died in the brutal second wave of infections in April and May.
On Tuesday, officials reported 32,906 new cases – the lowest daily tally since mid-March.
On Tuesday, India reported 2,020 new Covid-19 deaths but the figure included a backlog of hundreds of previously unreported fatalities in Madhya Pradesh, according to the health ministry data.
The government’s vaccine rollout has faltered due to jab shortages and logistical hurdles, with only 8 per cent of the 950 million people target, fully vaccinated.
PM Modu called for vigilance against new variants and a faster rollout of vaccines.
“To combat the third wave, we have to keep speeding up the process of vaccination,” Modi said.
On Monday, the top doctor’s association warned of growing complacency and more mass gatherings at which people ignored coronavirus protocols.
“Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour are all needed but can wait for a few more months,” the IMA said.
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