According to the health ministry, India set a new national record Saturday with over 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
According to the Johns Hopkins University global tracker, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed 4,187 new COVID-19 deaths, taking the country’s overall death toll to 238,270.
India became the third country — after the United States and Brazil — to surpass 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, Anadolu Agency reported.
The country also reported 401,078 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began to nearly 21.9 million. India now has the second-highest number of cases worldwide, according to the global tracker, trailing only the United States, which has reported over 32.6 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
India also has the third-highest number of COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began, trailing only Brazil, which has reported over 419,000, and the United States, which has reported over 580,000 deaths.
The newest figures come amid a surge of COVID-19 in India, slow vaccine rollout and a medical oxygen shortage at hospitals that has left some patients dying as they wait for assistance.
According to Bloomberg‘s COVID-19 tracker, wealthier countries and regions have a vaccination rate about 25 times faster than the least wealthy. India, a developing nation, has 13.2% of the world’s vaccinations and 17.7% of the world’s population. On the other hand, the wealthier United States has 20.7% of the world’s vaccinations and 4.3% of the world’s population. According to the tracker, 9.7% of India’s population has received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 2.5% are fully vaccinated, compared to 45.3% of the U.S. population having received one vaccine dose and 33.4% fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, India’s neighbor, Pakistan has been fighting a third wave of COVID-19 infections, reporting more than 140,000 cases and 3,000 deaths in the last month, according to the BBC.
Pakistan’s health ministry reported 4,109 new cases and 120 new deaths Saturday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 854,240, and the total number of deaths to 18,797, according to the global tracker.
As the Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Fitr nears, the government of Pakistan has implemented a partial lockdown, closing all but essential shops, from Saturday though May 16.
The foreign ministry of China, a more wealthy country with more access to vaccines than India, announced Friday it would send medical supplies to Nepal amid a surge of the virus in the country, The Himalayan Times reported.
Another neighboring country, Sri Lanka, became the first country in South Asia on Saturday to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use amid restricted supply of vaccines from India, the Hindustan Times reported.
Pakistan’s minister overseeing COVID-19 response in the country, Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle, said in a statement the government would order 5 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 infections rose in the country after crowded traditional New Year celebrations last month, according to Hindustan Times.
Globally, there were 831,000 new cases and 13,800 deaths reported for Friday. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 157 million cases and 3.27 million deaths.