Graveyard workers carry the body of a person who died of COVID-19 in New Delhi, India. File photo
India’s death toll from the coronavirus has passed 20,000, with case numbers surging past 700,000.
The country reported 467 new deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665.
The rate of new virus infections and deaths in India are now rising at their fastest pace. Health officials fear the number of deaths could rise significantly in the coming weeks.
A doctor wearing a protective face shield measures the temperature of a child in Ahmedabad, India. File/Reuters
India, with a population of 1.3 billion, is the third worst-affected nation in the world. Only the United States and Brazil have had more cases.
China on Tuesday reported eight new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought from outside the country, with no new deaths, as almost 11 million students gathered to take the crucial national university entrance exam.
The National Health Council reported 403 people remained in treatment for COVID-19 while 121 people were in isolation being monitored as suspected cases or for testing positive for the virus without showing any symptoms.
China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths among 83,565 cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan late last year.
The grueling two-day university entrance exam can be a key determinant of a student’s future and was pushed back weeks as China worked to bring down infections.
It is believed to be the first mass gathering event since the virus outbreak and administrators are enforcing strict rules to prevent infections, including proof of wellness, social distancing and the wearing of masks
The new confirmed cases took the national total to 968,876. The Health Ministry also reported a record number of 606 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 24,915.
Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983. The latest 97 virus-related deaths sees the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
The United States and Brazil have the highest numbers of cases but India's tally is not expected to peak for several more weeks and experts predict the one million figure will be passed this month.
The city government estimates it will have 550,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of July, and will require 150,000 beds by then. Cases are expected to keep rising as state governments ease restrictions in place since lockdown was first imposed in late March.
India on Wednesday returned a Chinese soldier detained after straying across a disputed border where the two countries have clashed in recent months, China's army announced.
She also demanded the father pay the salary of two maids and a driver and provide a modern car for transportation.
He founded the Emirates News Agency WAM in 1977, and took over its management until 1989, then he was assigned to direct it in 1997.