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Indians Begs For COVID Vaccines As Death Toll Hits 200k

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Indians struggled to register online for a mass vaccination drive set to begin at the weekend as the country’s death toll from the coronavirus surged past 200,000 on Wednesday, worsened by shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.

The last 24 hours brought 360,960 new cases for the world’s largest single-day total, taking India’s tally of infections to nearly 18 million. It was also the deadliest day so far, with 3,293 fatalities carrying the toll to 201,187.

Experts believe the official tally vastly underestimates the actual toll in a nation of 1.35 billion, however.

The World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update that India accounted for 38% of the 5.7 million cases reported worldwide to it last week.

Early modeling showed that the B.1.617 variant of the virus detected in India had a higher growth rate than other variants in the country, suggesting increased transmissibility, it said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people were falling sick more severely and for longer periods in the second wave, stacking up the pressure on the health system.

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