India has now reported a jump of 50,000 cases or more each day for 15 straight days. File photo
Infections grew by 66,999 on Thursday from a day earlier to reach a total of nearly 2.4 million to date, India's health ministry said.
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.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a meeting. File photo
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.Agencies
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.
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.
Taiwan scrambled fighter jets on Friday as 18 Chinese aircraft buzzed the island, including crossing the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, in an escalation of tensions as a senior US official held talks in Taipei.
Two Turkish soldiers were killed and another was wounded after Kurdish militants fired rockets at a military base in northern Iraq, Turkey's Defence Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Australia said on Friday it would increase the number of citizens allowed to return home each week to 6,000 as it manages to get new COVID-19 infections under control.