India Shatters Single-Day Infection Record

India clocked a record-breaking 314,835 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, The Guardian reports.
The country’s health system is collapsing under the pressure—with deadly consequences.

What's driving the surge?

  • Low vaccination coverage: India is doling out 2.7 million vaccine doses every day—but in the country of 1.4 billion people, less than 10% of people have received their first shot, AP reports.  

  • Variants: Unlike earlier in the pandemic, whole households are now becoming infected, suggesting a larger footprint for more contagious strains like B.1.1.7, Nature reports.

  • Complacency: After a sustained dip in cases starting last fall, authorities across India, “put public health priorities on the back burner,” said K Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India.

Antibody studies several months back suggested that more than half of the population in parts of India’s largest cities had already been infected.
But the latest spike suggests those numbers were not representative—and the worst may still be ahead for India.

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