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India to Expand Vaccination Eligibility in May

Αssociated Press

A body of a COVID 19 victim waits to be cremated in New Delhi, India, Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

NEW DELHI — India says it will begin vaccinating everyone 18 and older for the coronavirus starting May 1 as the country battles a surge in infections.

A government statement says the goal is to ensure that as many people as possible may get the vaccine in the shortest possible time.

India began vaccinating health workers in mid-January and later extended the drive to people above 45 in two phases. The country has so far administered 120 million doses.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, 88, was hospitalized in New Delhi on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19. He reported experiencing a mild fever the previous day.

India reported 273,810 new infections Monday, the most it has seen in a single day since the pandemic began. It now has more than 15 million confirmed cases, second only to the United States.

The Health Ministry also reported 1,619 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.