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India's COVID deaths hit record high

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India's coronavirus crisis is continuing to worsen, as the country reported its highest ever single-day death toll on Saturday (May 8).

India's health ministry reported a staggering 4,187 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to just under 240,000.

Cases rose by 401,078, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 21.9 million.

But medical experts say the real numbers of both cases and fatalities are likely to be far higher than official tallies.

While the country's northern and western areas have borne the brunt of the pandemic, southern states are now seeing a surge in infections.

Tamil Nadu said it would move from a partial to a full lockdown on Monday (May 10), stopping public transport and shutting state-run alcohol retailers.

And neighbouring Karnataka extended a total shutdown late on Friday (May 7).

India is yet to impose a national lockdown as it did during its first wave last year, but around half of all its states have imposed a total shutdown.

Although the country has administered over 167 million vaccine doses, its rate of inoculation has fallen sharply in recent days.

Only around 2% of its 1.4 billion people have received the two doses needed to be fully immunised.

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