India reports 30,773 new COVID cases as it seeks to welcome back tourists

India reports 30,773 new COVID cases as it seeks to welcome back tourists By A Robin - September 19, 2021
Crowded market in Mumbai

A man speaks on the phone as people walk past him at a crowded market amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India

India on Sunday reported 30,773 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 33.4 million, as it seeks to reopen the country to overseas tourists.

The death toll rose by 309 to 444,838, the health ministry said.

India, which has so far administered 804.3 million vaccine doses, is looking to protect the population and welcome back tourists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

"India's vaccination drive is not just a safety cover for health but is also a protective shield for livelihood," Modi told health workers in the tourist state of Goa via video.

"Friends, there's been very little talk about this, but India has given a lot of priority to its vaccination programme in states whose economies are driven by the tourism sector."

REUTERS / Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by William Mallard and Nick Macfie

By A Robin - September 19, 2021

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