Amidst a COVID-19 surge across the country, India on Monday, 9 May, recorded 3,207 fresh cases and 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said in its health bulletin.
With a daily positivity rate of 0.05 percent, active cases in the country stood at 20,403. Meanwhile, a total of 3,410 patients recovered on Monday, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 4,25,60,905.
WHO Data on Pandemic Death Toll
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on 5 May that India witnessed 4.7 million "excess" COVID-19 deaths, which is 10 times the official number.
India, it said, accounted for a third of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. WHO also said that globally COVID-19 led to the death of nearly 15 million people, which is 9.5 million more deaths than the officially reported count.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has rebutted WHO's use of a mathematical model to calculate the number of COVID-19 deaths, saying that the "figure is totally removed from reality."
The health ministry added that India has an "extremely robust" system of births and deaths registration and called the WHO's system of data collection "statistically unsound and scientifically questionable."
New COVID-19 Variant Detected
Last week, the Indian SARS-CoV2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG), a network of national testing laboratories set up by the Government of India, confirmed the first case of Omicron sub-variant XE in the country.
However, health experts said that there was no need to panic as the variant was yet to show any signs of very high transmission or cause any severe symptoms.
This testing result comes weeks after an unknown variant infected two persons from Maharashtra and Gujarat.
According to the INSACOG bulletin, the XE variant is a recombinant, wherein the coronavirus is a mixture of two strains bound to emerge as one single virus transmitting among people.