India reports record daily jump in COVID-19 cases for second straight day

New Delhi: India reported a record daily jump in coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections on Saturday, data from the federal health ministry showed.

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With total cases of more than 4.65 million, India is the world’s second worst affected country, trailing only the United States, which has more than 6.4 million cases.

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But the growth in infections in India is faster than anywhere else in the world, as cases surge through urban and rural areas.

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The western state of Maharashtra has been particularly hard-hit, with total confirmed cases breaching the 1 million mark late on Friday, making it the first state or province anywhere in the world to cross that mark.

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If the state, which is India’s richest, were a country, it would rival Russia for the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases globally.

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Government officials and experts said the unabated rise in cases in Maharashtra and other parts of the country were likely a result of economic activity re-starting, local festivals and lockdown fatigue.

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“I am so disappointed with the pandemic situation in India,” Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, who has been tracking India’s COVID situation closely, said on Twitter.

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“It is getting worse and worse each week but a large part of the nation seems to have made the choice to ignore this crisis,” she said.

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