Authorities in India’s financial capital Mumbai, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, have started operating the country’s first drive-in vaccination facility in a bid to ramp up the immunization drive.
India has reported more than 300,000 daily COVID-19 infections for 13 straight days and has now recorded 20 million cases of the disease, the second highest number in the world after the United States.
With hospitals running out of beds and oxygen and morgues and crematoria overflowing, experts say the actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher.
India, with the world’s biggest vaccine making capacity, has partially or fully immunised only 9.5% of its 1.35 billion people, according to the government’s Co-Win portal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, widely criticised for allowing religious festivals and political gatherings attended by hundreds of thousands of largely unmasked people, is reluctant to impose a national lockdown for fear of the economic fallout, but several states have imposed social curbs.
(Production: Emmanouil Papavasileiou, Avivit Delgoshen)