New Delhi: India crossed the grim milestone of 5 lakh COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, becoming the third country in the world to do so after the US and Brazil.
The country took 217 days to reach 5 lakh deaths from 4 lakh recorded on July 1 last year, the longest time taken to record 1 lakh fatalities.
India was hit by a devastating second wave in April-May last year.
The country’s death toll had crossed three lakh-mark on May 23 and two lakh-mark on April 27.
The death toll went past one lakh on October 2, 2020.
The total deaths has climbed to 5,00,055 with 1,072 daily fatalities, Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 am stated.
With over 9.2 lakh deaths, US has the highest number of fatalities due to the infection followed by Brazil with over 6.3 lakh, according to the Worldometers, which has been compiling global COVID-19 data.
India presently is facing a third wave of Covid driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. However, according to experts, cases are mostly mild this in comparison to the second wave.
The government on Thursday said the pandemic situation has improved and even though there are states and districts of concern, overall there is a contraction in the spread of COVID-19 infection.
At a press conference, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said 34 states and Union territories, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat are recording a decline in cases and positivity week-on-week basis, while Kerala and Mizoram still remain two states of concern.
There has been a consistent decline in daily COVID-19 cases, daily active cases and daily positivity rate, indicating decreased spread of the infection.
A decline in COVID-19 case fatality rate has been noted with an increase in administration of vaccine doses, he stated.