India’s Covid-19 infections cross two-million mark

New Delhi, Aug 7 (efe-epa).- India on Friday crossed another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic as the country recorded an overall Covid-19 caseload of 2 million cases and over 41,600 deaths, according to health ministry data.

The federal health ministry reported 62,538 cases in the past 24 hours from Thursday morning, raising India’s total to 2,027,074. Also, 886 people died of the disease during the period, raising the number of fatalities to 41,685 across the country.

India is the third worst-hit country by the virus and is only behind the United States (5 million cases) and Brazil (nearly 3 million cases), although the second-most populous country has maintained a comparatively low mortality rate.

India has the fifth-largest number of Covid-10 deaths but its fatality rate of about 2 percent is far lower than the US (3.2 percent) and Brazil (3.4 percent), according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

But India’s rate of registering new infections is alarmingly high as confirmed cases more than doubled in less than a month. The country had reached the one-million mark on July 17.

According to the health authorities, India continues to expand its testing capacity for the coronavirus and in the last 24 hours it carried out some 660,000 tests.

Overall, 22.7 million tests have been carried so far, according to data from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

However, experts say the testing capacity continues to be low in proportion with India’s 1.38-billion population.

The western state of Marahastra, whose capital is Mumbai, tops the list of the most-affected Indian states with 479,779 cases, while the city of New Delhi has so far registered 141,531 confirmed Covid-19 positive cases.

Although the number of cases have quickly expanded, the government has gone ahead with its plan to relax restrictions in a phased manner since the beginning of June, hoping to jump-start its economy after imposing one of the toughest lockdowns in the world on Mar. 25.

The government on Aug. 1 further relaxed the restrictions in the third unlocking phase by removing the limitations on movement.

Almost all outdoor activities are now allowed except for containment zones that house a sizable number of active cases.

Bars, subway, and cinemas remain closed throughout the country. But earlier this week, the government allowed the opening of gyms with strict social distancing measures in place. EFE-EPA


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