Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

India reports record daily jump in Covid cases for second straight day

With total cases of more than 4.65 million, India is the world's second worst affected country

A woman in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a woman amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Mumbai, India, September 12, 2020. Reuters
A woman in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a woman amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Mumbai, India, September 12, 2020. Reuters

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

"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.

"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.

In Latin America, the confirmed coronavirus death toll in Mexico on Friday topped 70,000 after the government reported more than 500 new deaths, a grim milestone for a country among those most affected by the pandemic.

Making matters worse, excess mortality data from mid-March through early August indicates that the total number of deaths beyond the official count is likely tens of thousands higher.

Health officials late on Friday reported 534 new deaths linked to the virus, bringing the total to 70,183. Another 5,935 cases bring the total to 658,299.

The spread of the virus has ravaged an already ailing economy, which is now seen contracting by up to 13 per cent this year, the deepest recession since the 1930s-era Great Depression.

Based on official data, Mexico is the nation with the fourth highest number of deaths globally, and the 13th highest on a per capita basis, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

But earlier this month, the health ministry said it recorded more than 120,000 "extra" deaths from mid-March through August 1. The measure compares mortality figures this year with a four-year average from 2015 to 2018.

Brazil remains number one in Latin America, the region with the most infections globally, for both confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. It has posted a total of 4.2 million infections and more than 128,000 deaths so far.

Updated: September 12, 2020 04:27 PM

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