India on Friday reported a record daily rise in coronavirus cases of 414,188, while deaths from COVID-19 swelled by 3,915, according to health ministry data.
India's total coronavirus infections now stand at 21.49 million, while its total fatalities have reached 234,083.
The South Asian nation has added 1.57 million cases and just over 15,100 deaths this week alone.India reported another record daily rise in coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing total new cases for the week to 1.57 million, as the country's vaccination rate falls dramatically due to a lack of supplies and transport problems.
As India's deadly second wave of COVID-19 continues unabated and its total number of cases now stand at 21.49 million, with infections spreading from overcrowded cities to remote rural villages that are home to nearly 70% of the 1.3 billion population.
Ten states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, account for 71.81 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.
India saw a record 4,14,188 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,14,91,598, according to the data updated in the morning.
Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are the other states in the list of 10.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 62,194. It is followed by Karnataka with 49,058 while Kerala reported 42,464 new cases.
India's total COVID-19 active caseload has reached 36,45,164 and now comprises 16.96 per cent of the country's total infections. A net increase of 78,766 cases has been recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh,Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar cumulatively account for 81.04 per cent of India's total active cases.
One-fourth of total active cases concentrated in only 10 districts.
Bengaluru Urban,Pune, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Ernakulam, Nagpur, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Jaipur and Thane are the 10 districts that account for 25 per cent of the total active cases in the country.
Active cases constitute 16.96 per cent of the total cases while recoveries are more than 81.95 per cent.
''The National Mortality Rate has been falling and currently stands at 1.09 per cent,'' the ministry said.
Besides, 3,915 deaths were reported in a span of 24 hours.
Ten states account for 74.48 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (853). Uttar Pradesh follows with 350 daily deaths.
Medical experts say the real extent of COVID-19 in India is five to 10 times the official tallies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been widely criticised for not acting sooner to suppress the second wave, after religious festivals and political rallies drew tens of thousands of people in recent weeks and became "super spreader" events.
His government has also been criticised for delays in the country's vaccination programme, which medical experts say is India's only hope of controlling the second COVID-19 wave. The Hindustan Times newspaper on Friday demanded: "Accelerate the vaccine drive, get the second wave of the pandemic under some control…"
While India is the world's biggest vaccine maker, it is struggling to produce enough doses to stem the wave of COVID-19. Modi has stressed that Indian states must keep up vaccination rates. Although the country has administered at least 157 million vaccine doses, its rate of inoculation has fallen sharply in recent days.
"After having achieved a rate of around 4 million a day, we are now down to 2.5 million per day due to vaccine shortages," Amartya Lahiri, an economics professor at University of British Columbia was quoted as saying in the Mint newspaper. "The 5 million a day target is the lower bound of what we have to aim for, since even at that rate, it will take a year for us to get everyone two doses. The situation unfortunately is very grim."
The European Union on Thursday backed a U.S. proposal to discuss waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to increase the supply and access to vaccines, especially in vulnerable developing countries.
India's healthcare system is crumbling under the weight of COVID-19 patients, with hospitals running out of beds and medical oxygen. Morgues and crematoriums can not handle the number of dead and makeshift funeral pyres burn in parks and carparks. Although northern and western India bear the brunt of the disease, the share of the five southern states in the country's daily surge in infections rose from 28% to 33% in the first seven days of May, data shows.
In the southern city of Chennai, only one in a hundred oxygen supported beds and two in a hundred beds in intensive care units were vacant on Thursday, from a vacancy rate of over 20% each two weeks ago, government data showed. In India's tech capital Bengaluru, only 23 of the 590 beds in intensive care units were vacant, and only 1 in 50 beds with a ventilator were vacant, a situation officials say points to an impending crisis.
New Delhi's ubiquitous three-wheeled autorickshaws have become makeshift ambulances to ferry COVID-19 patients. "We must all help each other out at this time of need to get out of this situation," said autorickshaw driver Raj Kumar, who wears a protection suit. There is a plastic partition between him and the passengers at the back.
"If everyone stays home because they are scared, then who is going to help those in need?" Several Indian states have imposed various levels of social restrictions to try to stem infections, but the federal government has resisted imposing a national lockdown.
Aid from foreign countries continued to pour in, as consignments from Poland, Netherlands and Switzerland reached India on Friday, foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.