Coronavirus India Updates: Deaths Top 4,000 For First Time; New Cases Stay Above 4 Lakh For Third Straight Day
A relative observes the burning pyre of a Covid-19 fatality at a crematorium in Agra, on May 3, 2021. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Deaths Top 4,000 For First Time; New Cases Stay Above 4 Lakh For Third Straight Day

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India reported over 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a day for the first time, as the country continued to battle the world’s fastest spreading outbreak.

4,187 people succumbed to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours taking the nation's death toll to 2.38 lakh, according to the health ministry's 8 a.m. update. To be clear, data on Covid cases and related deaths may be severely deficient as several states have inadequate testing, chronic underreporting and have been reportedly also concealing such data by attributing deaths to other causes.

The country reported over 4 lakh new infections for the third consecutive day, taking the active caseload to over 37 lakh.

Key data points:

  • Total confirmed cases: 2,18,92,676
  • Total number of active cases: 37,23,446
  • Total patients cured/discharged: 1,79,30,960
  • Total deaths: 2,38,270
  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 4,01,078
  • One-day recoveries: 3,18,609
  • One-day deaths: 4,187
  • Total vaccination shots administered: 16,73,46,544

Taskforce For Pandemic Response

The Supreme Court set up a national taskforce for pandemic response, with the cabinet secretary as the convener.

The tenure of the taskforce will be initially for a period of six months and has been requested to commence work immediately.

Taskforce members include:

  • Dr. Devender Singh Rana
  • Dr. Gagandeep Kang
  • Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty
  • Dr. Naresh Trehan
  • Dr. Zarir F Udwadia

The rationale for constituting a taskforce at a national level is to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge, the Supreme Court said.

The apex court directed the Central government to continue with its oxygen allocation policy, and added that the policy can be modified by courts until the task force submits its suggestions.

India Approves Anti-Covid Drug Developed By DRDO, Dr. Reddy's

The Drugs Controller General of India approved the emergency use of a drug developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation & Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe patients.

The therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence, according to ministry of defence's statement.

The drug comes in powder form in sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water.

India's Covid Hotspots

15 states reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases each in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra reported just over 54,000 fresh infections, while Karnataka added nearly 49,000 cases, according to the health ministry's update at 8 a.m. Kerala was the other hotspot, reporting over 38,000 cases.

Coronavirus India Updates: Deaths Top 4,000 For First Time; New Cases Stay Above 4 Lakh For Third Straight Day

Global Death Toll Nears 33 Lakh

Globally, total confirmed coronavirus cases topped 15.65 crore, while death toll reached 32.7 lakh, as of Saturday morning.

Singapore will reduce entry approvals for foreign workers, and delay the arrival of many already approved, to reduce imported cases.

China’s Sinopharm Group won World Health Organization backing for its Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for a wider rollout in countries scrambling for jabs.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she’s open to discussing President Joe Biden’s proposal to waive vaccine patents but the U.S. needs to dramatically ramp up the shots it’s exporting in the short term.

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