India’s rampant second wave of Covid-19 topped 400,000 new daily cases for the first time on Saturday, as the country opened up its massive vaccination drive to all adults, although several states warned of acute shortages.
Authorities reported 401,993 new cases in the previous 24 hours, the highest daily count globally, after 10 consecutive days over 300,000.
Deaths from Covid-19 jumped by 3,523, taking the total toll in India to 211, 853, according to federal health ministry data.
The world’s biggest producer of Covid-19 vaccines has a limited number of shots available, worsening a surge in infections that has overwhelmed hospitals and morgues while families scramble for scarce medicines and oxygen.
India’s West Bengal state was unable to start a vaccination drive for adults aged between 18 and 45 on Saturday due to shortage of shots and urged the federal government to provide more supplies, a senior state health official said, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak with media.
The chief minister of the hard-hit state of Delhi on Friday implored people not to queue at vaccination centres, promising more vaccines would arrive “tomorrow or the day after”.
India’s eastern Odisha state said on Friday it had received a consignment of 150,000 shots but would only allow a few people to get shots due to lockdown restrictions preventing movement.