India posts lowest daily rise in coronavirus cases in 45 days


India reported on Saturday 173,790 new coronavirus infections during the previous 24 hours, its lowest daily rise in 45 days, while deaths rose by 3,617.

The South Asian nation’s tally of infections now stands at 27.7 million, with the death toll at 322,512, health ministry data showed.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday the United States and India are united in trying to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic together and Washington is determined to help India with its coronavirus crisis.

Read more: Pakistan reports first case of Indian coronavirus variant in Sindh Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who has spent the past week in the United States seeking help amid a devastating second wave of infections at home, told reporters while standing with Blinken at a State Department meeting that India is grateful to Washington for strong support and solidarity.

“In the earlier days of COVID, India was there for the United States – something we will never forget,” Blinken said. “And now we want to make sure that we’re there for India as well.”

Blinken said the partnership between the two countries is “vital,” “strong” and “increasingly productive.”

“We’re united in confronting Covid-19 together,” Blinken said. He said the two countries were also united in addressing climate change, and were partnered together directly through the Quad – a four country group that also includes Japan and Australia – and through U.N. institutions “in dealing with many of the challenges we face in the region and around the world.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has faced mounting criticism for its failure to secure Covid-19 vaccines for its people, even though India is one of the world’s biggest producers of vaccines.—Reuters