Atleast 4,000 COVID-19 positive patients were reported to have died within 24 hours, increasing the death tollacross the country to 270,000.
Aside from the death toll, the country also recorded a smaller rise in daily COVID-19 cases for the third straight day with by 311,170 contracting the virus, putting the country’s healthcare facilities under threat.
The 311,170 recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the country’s health ministry, was the smallest rise in daily cases in over three weeks.
The health ministry on Sunday added that since the outbreak of the third wave, the total infections have risen by over 2 million this week and deaths by nearly 28,000.
India’s massive second wave of infections began in February, putting hospitals and medical workers under pressure. Cases have fallen steadily in states hit by an initial surge of infections, such as the richest state of Maharashtra and the northern state of Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns.
Federal health officials said on Saturday that the overall rate of positive cases per tests had dipped to 19.8% this week from 21.9% last week, sparking hopes that daily infections have begun to stabilise.
But surges have been seen in states such as Tamil Nadu in the south and rural areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called on officials to strengthen health care resources in rural areas and step up surveillance as the virus spreads rapidly in those areas after ravaging the cities.
Bodies of COVID-19 victims have been found dumped in some Indian rivers, a state government letter seen by Reuters said, in the first official acknowledgement of the alarming practice.
The world’s largest vaccine-producing nation has fully vaccinated just over 40.4 million, or only 2.9%, of its 1.35 billion population as of Sunday, according to data from the government’s Co-WIN portal.