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India's Double Whammy: Rising Cases, Few Shots

Αssociated Press

Family members pay last respect to their relative who died of COVID-19 before cremation by the River Ganges in Prayagraj, India, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

NEW DELHI — India opened vaccinations to all adults this month, hoping to tame a disastrous coronavirus surge sweeping the country, but since then the pace of administering the shots has only dropped, with states saying they only have limited stock.

New infections are still rising at record pace in the world’s second-most populous nation. Alongside a slowdown in vaccinations, states have gone to court over oxygen shortages as hospitals struggle to treat a running line of COVID-19 patients.

On Sunday, India reported 403,738 confirmed cases, including 4,092 deaths. Overall, India has over 22 million confirmed infections and 240,000 deaths. Experts say both figures are significant undercounts.

India’s Supreme Court said Saturday it would set up a national task force consisting of top experts and doctors to conduct an “oxygen audit” to determine whether supplies from the federal government were reaching states.

Complaints of oxygen shortages have dominated the top court recently, which just stepped in to make sure the federal government provided more medical oxygen to hospitals in the capital, New Delhi.