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

Reuters

Posted at Sep 19 2021 08:34 PM

Women wait to receive a dose of COVISHIELD vaccine, a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, outside a vaccination centre in Kolkata, India, August 31, 2021. Rupak De Chowdhuri, Reuters/File Photo
Women wait to receive a dose of COVISHIELD vaccine, a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, outside a vaccination centre in Kolkata, India, August 31, 2021. Rupak De Chowdhuri, Reuters/File Photo

NEW DELHI - 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." 

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by William Mallard and Nick Macfie)