(4) Nepal records its highest daily Covid-19 death toll so far


India on Wednesday recorded 3,780 deaths, maximum in a day and 3,82,315 fresh cases of Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload in the country to 2,06,65,148, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

"These are hard times, especially in India, and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times", the IPL said in a statement.

The health ministry said in a Tuesday statement that almost 4 million items from 24 different categories - including medical equipment, oxygen concentrators and ventilators - have been distributed across 86 healthcare facilities across the country.

The surge in infections has put a significant strain on India's healthcare system, with hospital beds and medical oxygen in short supply.

Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the opposition Congress party, said this week "a lockdown is now the only option because of a complete lack of strategy by the Indian government". It is now the second country after the United States to pass the grim milestone. This is the highest-ever single day tally so far.

Offering a glimmer of hope, the health ministry said positive cases relative to the number of tests fell on Monday for the first time since at least April 15.

The surge in COVID-19 in India has coincided with a dramatic drop in vaccinations, due to problems with supplies and delivery.

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The state on Monday administered 79,491 doses, compared to a record 534,372 a week ago.

In Modi's adjoining home state of Gujarat, the three largest cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara limited vaccines to those aged between 18 and 44, officials said.

However, Covaxin, which was approved for emergency use on January 3, while still under clinical trial, has been found to neutralise the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19.

The numbers eligible to receive the vaccines have doubled to an estimated 800 million since May 1.

The United States, Britain, Germany and several other nations are rushing therapeutics, rapid virus tests and oxygen to India, along with some materials needed for India to boost its domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines. Just 9.5% of the population of 1.35 billion has received a dose.

Global aid continued to arrive in India on Tuesday, with 545 oxygen concentrators from the United States landing, the fifth in a series of consignments carrying medical equipment.