India’s COVID-19 cases near 20 million

India reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday [May 3] for the twelfth day straight, taking its overall numbers to just under 20 million.

Scientists predict a peak in infections over the next couple of days.

India's public health system is already buckling under the caseload.

Hospitals have filled to capacity, people are dying for lack of medical oxygen, and morgues and crematoriums are overrun.

Despite being the world's biggest producer of vaccines, only about 9% of India's 1.4 billion population has received a dose.

Pfizer is in discussions with the Indian government seeking quote, an "expedited approval pathway" for its vaccine.

Its CEO also announced a donation of medicines worth more than $70 million.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been reluctant to impose a national lockdown out of concern over the economic impact.

In the last few months, millions have gone unmasked to religious festivals and political rallies while elections in several states were allowed to continue.

That's despite the government reportedly having knowledge of more contagious variants since early March.

With the next general election due in 2024, the impact of the crisis on Modi's political future remains unclear.

His Hindu nationalist BJP party failed to win a crucial state election in West Bengal on Sunday, in a sign his populist sway could be checked.

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