A health worker helps a woman wear a mask before screening her for COVID-19 symptoms in Dharavi, Mumbai, India. AP
India’s coronavirus caseload has topped 2.3 million after adding 60,963 in the last 24 hours.
India also reported 834 deaths on Wednesday for a total of 46,091. India has the third-highest caseload after the United States and Brazil, but only the fifth-highest death toll, and authorities say the fatality rate has dropped below 2% for the first time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference Tuesday with the top elected officials of 10 states that together account for about 80% of India’s total cases, urging them to rigorously apply the strategies of containment, surveillance and contact tracing to drive the fatality rate below 1%.
Modi also urged testing to be ramped up in several states as it has been in the capital region of Delhi.
The Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s top medical research body, said that more than 733,000 samples were tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, but didn’t break down how many underwent the gold standard RT-PCR test compared to the antigen test, a cheaper and more efficient though less accurate blood test that looks for antibodies.
China’s newly confirmed community transmitted cases of coronavirus fell into the single digits on Wednesday, while Hong Kong saw another 33 cases of infection.
The National Health Commission said all nine new cases were found in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, whose capital Urumqi has been at the center of China’s latest major outbreak. Another 25 cases were brought by Chinese travelers arriving from abroad.
China has largely contained the local spread of the pandemic that is believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year before spreading worldwide.
The government has recorded 4,634 deaths from COVID-19 among 84,737 cases. Hong Kong, a densely populated semi-autonomous southern Chinese city, also recorded another six deaths to bring its total to 58 among 4,181 cases.
Authorities have ordered mask wearing in public settings, restrictions on indoor dining and other social distancing measures in a bid to stem its latest outbreak. Those measures appear to have been successful in bringing numbers down from the more than 100 new daily cases reported at the end of last month.Associated Press
The country, with the world's biggest case load behind the United States and Brazil, has now reported a jump of 50,000 cases or more each day for 15 straight days.
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.
"In view of the declining cases of corona, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the proposal," the official, who declined to be identified, said of a suggestion from authorities that the weekend curfew be scrapped.
The winds were dust stirring and resulted in a decrease in horizontal visibility to less than 300 metres at times over the open areas, especially the north and east.
At least 20 confirmed or preliminary positive cases were found in a public housing block in the Kwai Chung neighbourhood, said health chief Sophia Chan. "Clearly there is a community outbreak and the situation is worrying," Chan told reporters.