NEW DELHI — For the first time in weeks, India’s daily cases dropped below 300,000, continuing a decline as the country battles a ferocious surge of COVID-19.
The health ministry said around 280,000 cases and 4,106 deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours. Both numbers are almost certainly undercounts.
India’s overall vaccination efforts are also struggling. Ever since the country opened vaccinations to all adults this month, the pace of administering doses has plunged, with many states saying they don’t have enough stock to give out. Over the last month, cases have tripled and deaths have jumped by six times — but vaccinations have dropped by 40%.
The southern state of Karnataka has suspended vaccinations for the 18-44 age group in government-run centers, and a number of states are looking into directly getting shots from overseas to fill a domestic shortage. On Sunday, health officials said around 5 million doses will be sent to the states this week.
India has the second-highest caseload after the U.S. with more than 24 million confirmed infections and over 270,000 fatalities.