India reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus infections in nearly three weeks on Saturday, with deaths still near the 4,000-mark, but the central government officials said cases and fatalities are rapidly stabilising in this wave of the pandemic.
The overall rate of positive cases per tests had dipped to 19.8% this week from 21.9% last week.
Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS Hospital in Delhi warned that secondary infections like mucormycosis or “black fungus” were adding to India’s mortality rate with states having reported more than 500 cases recently in COVID-19 patients with diabetes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday told officials to focus on distributing resources including oxygen supplies in the hard-hit rural areas.
He also called for more testing in India’s vast countryside, which is witnessing a rapid spread of the virus, it added.
In the past 24 hours, India added 326,098 new infections, taking its tally to 24.37 million, with 3,890 deaths, for a toll of 266,207. But the slow growth may also reflect test rates that are at their lowest since May 9.
In Geneva, the World Health Organization’s chief said India was a huge concern, with the second year of the pandemic set to be more deadly than the first.
During the past week, the south Asian nation has added about 1.7 million new cases and more than 20,000 deaths in a second wave of infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and medical staff.