Latest on coronavirus outbreak

India's daily COVID-19 cases fall below 300,000

Country reports 4,106 new fatalities, pushing coronavirus-related total confirmed deaths to 274,390

Ahmad Adil   | 17.05.2021
India's daily COVID-19 cases fall below 300,000

NEW DELHI 

India’s daily coronavirus cases on Monday dropped below 300,000, the Health Ministry data showed.

According to the ministry, 281,386 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total cases to 24.96 million.

The daily virus-linked death toll has, however, remained over 4,000 for the second consecutive day on Monday, with the country reporting 4,106 new fatalities, pushing the total to 274,390.

India has seen an exponential rise in cases, with the daily number surpassing 400,000, while for the past many days, the country has reported less than 400,000 single-day infections. On Monday, the numbers dropped to 300,000 for the first time since April 21.

The national capital Delhi, which was the worst hit by the pandemic, has also seen a huge decline in daily infections.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been facing criticism over his government’s response to the deadly second wave. The country is now facing an acute shortage of vaccination, with many states saying they do not have sufficient stock of vaccines.

To prevent the spread of the virus, many cities and states have now extended the lockdown.


Virologist quits genome forum

Late Sunday evening, Indian virologist Shahid Jameel resigned as the head of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics -- a total of 10 national labs tasked to carry out genomic sequencing on the latest samples.

Jameel, who has been critical of the government’s steps to contain the virus, has not cited any reason behind his decision.

In an article published by The New York Times on May 13, Jameel wrote: "All these measures have wide support among my fellow scientists in India. But they are facing stubborn resistance to evidence-based policymaking.”

“Decision-making based on data is yet another casualty, as the pandemic in India has spun out of control. The human cost we are enduring will leave a permanent scar," he added.

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