India overtakes Mexico to become the nation with the third highest number of COVID-19 deaths

The Indian country is close to 20 million infections with vaccination rates too slow
Frontline workers wait to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination camp.

AFP/ARUN SANKAR  -   Frontline workers wait to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination camp

India is already the country with the third highest number of deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, an expert in research on the number of people affected by the pandemic around the world. 

India surpassed the number of coronavirus deaths in Mexico on Monday, making it the country with the third highest number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide, behind the United States and Brazil.

The death toll in the Asian country is 218,959, according to its Ministry of Health and Johns Hopkins University. In Mexico, the death toll is 217,233. Meanwhile, the United States has 577,045 deaths and Brazil has 407,639, according to the latest official count of the institution. 

The 3,417 new deaths recorded in the last 24 hours brought the total death toll to 218,959, an official figure that many experts say could actually be higher as crematoria and cemeteries work around the clock in cities such as the capital New Delhi.

Un trabajador sanitario toma una muestra para analizar la COVID-19 en una terminal de autobuses en Nueva Delhi, India
AP/ALTAF QADRI - A health worker takes a sample for COVID-19 testing at a bus terminal in New Delhi, India.

In total, ten of the country's 36 regions, including western Maharashtra, New Delhi and southern Karnataka, account for 73.8% of new infections each day, while the positive rate stands at 21.2% when just a month ago it was below 6%, according to EFE news agency.

India also has the second highest number of total COVID-19 cases reported worldwide, behind the United States. The US giant has 32,421,713 infected, India has 19,925,517, Brazil has 14,754,910, France has 5,713,393 and Turkey has 4,875,388.

Thus, India is close to 20 million coronavirus infections with a vaccination rate that is too slow. The process of inoculating vaccines in India has not been running smoothly since the start of the vaccination campaign in January, with some 157 million doses administered so far. 

The Indian country recorded 368,147 new infections in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data from the country's health ministry, a slight drop for the second day in a row after surpassing the 400,000 positive mark for the first time on Saturday.

Una mujer espera para recibir la vacuna contra la COVID-19 en un centro de salud de Nueva Delhi
AFP/SAJJAD HUSSAIN - A woman waits to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a health centre in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities are investigating whether a lack of oxygen in a hospital caused the deaths of 24 patients on Monday, and several medical centres in cities such as New Delhi are forced to turn away new patients due to lack of oxygen. The situation is compounded by a shortage of beds in the Indian capital as desperate patients and their families, some of whom have been forced to move from one hospital to another in search of shelter. 

The world's second most affected country by the pandemic in terms of the number of people infected, second only to the United States (32.4 million), is in the midst of a devastating second wave of the pandemic that is choking its health system.