India on Wednesday recorded 4,529 COVID-19 deaths, making it the highest single-day spike of fatalities anywhere in the world since the beginning of the pandemic, official data showed.
The South Asian country set the grim global record by breaching the previous highest figure of 4,475 in the U.S. on Jan.12, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
The health ministry said India saw 267,334 new infections in the past 24 hours, taking its overall caseload to 25.5 million in its latest bulletin. Saying altogether a total of 283,248 people had died of the disease.
India, battling a second deadly wave of the pandemic, had also registered the world’s highest daily tally of 414,188 cases on May 7.
Although the cases had declined since then, the government had warned that only 1.8 per cent of the country’s over 1.3 billion population population contracted the virus so far.
“In spite of the high number of cases reported so far, we have been able to contain the spread to fewer than 2 per cent of the population.
“We cannot let our guard down, hence continued focus on containment is critical,” senior health ministry official Lav Agarwal told reporters.
After the exponential surge in cases overwhelmed hospitals in cities and towns, case numbers were rising rapidly in rural regions where health facilities were ill-equipped as COVID-19 tests were unavailable.
India’s inoculation drive has been floundering and in spite of being a global hub for vaccine manufacturing, only 3 per cent of its population were fully vaccinated. (dpa/NAN)