India becomes third country to pass 4 million COVID-19 cases

New Delhi: India has become the world’s third country to pass four million coronavirus infections, setting a new record daily surge cases on Saturday as the crisis shows no sign of peaking.

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The 86,432 new cases took India to 4,023,179 infections, third behind the United States which has more than 6.3 million and just trailing Brazil on 4.1 million.

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While the government has eased restrictions in a bid to revive the economy, India now has the world’s fastest growing number of cases at more than 80,000 a day and the highest daily death toll at more than 1,000.

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The country’s caseload has gone from three to four million in just 13 days, faster than the United States and Brazil.

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The pandemic is now spreading through rural areas which have poor health facilities but is also resurging in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

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Maharashtra state, which includes Mumbai, has been at the centre of the crisis in India since a nationwide lockdown was imposed in March. It still accounts for nearly a quarter of the new daily cases across the country of 1.3 billion.

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Shamika Ravi, an economics professor and former government advisor who has closely followed pandemic trends in India, said that India is “nowhere close” to a peak and Maharashtra must become the “focus” of the campaign against the coronavirus.

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“There is no controlling COVID-19 in India without controlling the outbreak in Maharashtra,” she said on Twitter.

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“Given its economic significance, Maharashtra will continue to influence the spread of infection elsewhere in the country.”

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