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India sees fourth straight day of COVID-19 deaths above 3,000

India sees fourth straight day of COVID-19 deaths above 3,000
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COVID-19 deaths in India topped 3,000 for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday as health officials reported 3,689 deaths over a 24-hour period, the country's largest single-day total.

The data, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, indicate that India's health system remains overwhelmed with many unable to receive care. News reports have indicated that many COVID-19 patients are being turned away by hospitals unable to find beds or oxygen supplies needed to treat severe cases.

The number of new cases dipped slightly on Sunday at just over 392,000, one day after the country topped 400,000 case in a day for the first time. India is the first country to record more than 400,000 cases in a 24-hour period.

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Officials in New Delhi have extended lockdown measures in the nation's capital but are blaming a shortage of vaccines for continued widespread transmission of several variants of COVID-19 around the country. The country recently expanded vaccine eligibility to all adults, but many clinics have shut down due to shortages.

The situation is so dire it has now spilled over into neighboring Nepal, where health authorities have warned that the country cannot handle the influx of patients from India.

“As the number of infections has been increasing, the health system is not able to cope and a situation has already arisen in which hospital beds cannot be made available,” said Nepal's health ministry in a statement.

India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, addressed the nation earlier this month and declared that the country's second COVID-19 wave had hit like a "storm."

“The country is today fighting a very big battle against COVID-19. The situation had improved for a while, but the second COVID-19 wave has come like a storm,” Modi said.

“I express my condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones due to COVID-19," he continued. "Just like a member of your family, I am with you in this hour of sadness. The battle is long and difficult, but we have to overcome it together with our dedication and courage.”