Greater than 6,000 deaths registered in 24 hours

A patient wearing an oxygen mask is driven to a COVID-19 hospital for treatment while coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is developing in Ahmedabad, India on Aug.

Amit Dave | Reuters

India’s daily reported death toll from the coronavirus crisis hit a record high on Thursday, with more than 6,000 people dying from the disease.

That surpassed the record number of daily deaths reported by the United States that year.

India’s Ministry of Health data showed that 6,148 Covid-related deaths were recorded over a 24-hour period as the daily reported cases stayed below 100,000 for the third day in a row.

The death toll rose after one of India’s poorest states, Bihar, revised its total Covid-19-related death toll from about 5,400 to more than 9,400 on Wednesday, attributable to people staying at home or in private hospitals died, reported Reuters.

India is battling a devastating second wave of eruptions that began in February and accelerated in April and early May, overwhelming the country’s health infrastructure. The sector struggled with a shortage of beds, oxygen and medicine, while many doctors and other health workers succumbed to the disease.

While the cases peaked in early May, government officials have sounded the alarm over a possible third wave that could hit the country later this year.

Experts say expanding its vaccination program is the right path for India to both get its economy out of the Covid crisis and mitigate the effects of a third wave. However, its rollout, which began in January, has faced issues such as a vaccine shortage that resulted in less than 5% of the population receiving both doses to date.

The government estimates that more than 2 billion doses of vaccine could be available by December, as more vaccine candidates are expected to receive regulatory approval. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this week that India will provide free Covid-19 vaccines to all adults.

India has reported more than 29 million cases and over 353,000 deaths since the pandemic started last year.

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