It was the first time India’s daily case count had topped 400,000 after 10 consecutive days over 300,000. Deaths related to Covid-19 jumped by 3,523 over the past 24 hours, taking the total toll to 211,853, according to official data.

The world’s biggest producer of Covid-19 vaccines has a limited number of shots available, worsening a grim second wave of infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and morgues while families scramble for scarce medicines and oxygen.

The chief minister of the hard-hit state of Delhi yesterday implored people not to queue at vaccination centres, promising more vaccines would arrive “tomorrow or the day after”.

India’s eastern Odisha state said it had received a consignment of 150,000 shots but would only allow a few people to get shots due to lockdown restrictions preventing movement.

Meanwhile, a fire in a hospital about 115 miles south of Ahmedabad killed 16 coronavirus patients and two staff, the latest in a series of deadly accidents at hospitals.

A forum of scientific advisers set up by Modi administration warned Indian officials in early March of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus taking hold in the country, five scientists who are part of the forum told Reuters.

Despite the warning, four of the scientists said the federal government did not seek to impose major restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Millions, largely unmasked, attended religious gatherings and election rallies that were held by Modi, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition politicians.



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