India's confirmed Covid-19 caseload surpasses five million
India has reached another grim milestone in its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic as the number of confirmed cases rose above five million.
The Indian Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 90,123 new Covid-19 infections, taking the country's caseload past the five-million mark with the number of confirmed cases now standing at 5,020,359. The ministry also reported 1,290 new Covid-19 related deaths with the total number of fatailities in the country now recorded as 82,066.
India has been struggling with a spiralling surges in new cases across the country in recent weeks, to the extent that nearly a million new cases have been reported since 5 September alone.
The spike in cases in India comes after government's decision to introduce gradual relaxations of lockdown restrictions imposed in March following the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
India considering emergency Covid-19 vaccine
India imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in March, bringing nearly all economic activity to a standstill. The central government ordered the implementation of the fourth phase of easing lockdown restrictions as of the beginning of September, which has had an obvious impact on the Covid-19 case figures.
As part of its efforts to curb the further spread of the disease, the Indian government is considering the idea of fast-tracking a Covid-19 vaccine for vulnerable groups and elderly people by the beginning of the next year. The country is already participating in clinical trials of three vaccine candidates including the promising one being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.