Last one million cases rise in 13 days
India became the second country after the US to cross seven million confirmed Covid-19 cases on Saturday. It also recorded its six millionth recovery on the day and the ninth consecutive day of decline in active cases.
With the number of new cases dipping in recent weeks, health experts warn of mask and distancing fatigue setting in.
Experts say that the true number of infections may be much higher, as testing rates in the vast country of 1.3 billion people – home to some of the world’s most crowded cities – are much lower than in many other countries.
This is borne out by a string of studies measuring antibodies to the virus among the Indian population that have indicated infection rates could be several times higher than officially recorded.
Saturday also marked eight consecutive days of deaths remain below the 1,000-mark. With 917 fresh casualties on Saturday the lowest in the last five days.
As of the Health Ministry’s latest bulletin, India’s death toll stands at 108,334, a lower number compared with the US – which has so far recorded more than 214,000 deaths – or other countries in Europe with high caseloads.
However, some experts argue that India’s death toll may not be reliable because of poor reporting and health infrastructure and inadequate testing.
The rise in infections in India comes as the government continues to lift restrictions to boost an economy battered by a severe lockdown imposed in March.
On Thursday, cinemas are set to reopen – albeit at 50 percent capacity – and experts fear the upcoming festival season when large crowds gathering for public celebrations will exacerbate the situation.
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