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Coronavirus cases reported in India exceed 200,000
Amy Kazmin in New Delhi
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India has exceeded 200,000 infections – the seventh highest burden in the world – amid mounting criticism from public health professionals regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the pandemic.
The 207,000 confirmed infections in India place its focus just below Spain and Italy. Its official death toll from the virus of only 5,829 is still much lower than in other countries with a similar workload.
About 99,000 of those infected with the virus have recovered.
Public health experts estimate that the actual number of coronavirus infections – and deaths – is likely to be much higher than the official total, given India’s low detection rate and poor history of of causes of death for people who do not die in hospital.
The current test rate in India is only 2,876 per million, compared to 4,378 per million in Brazill and 68,011 per million in the United Kingdom.
The Indian Medical Research Council has warned that the pandemic will continue to develop in India, with the infection still spreading rapidly and the number of cases expected to peak in June or July.
Modi imposed one of the world’s most abrupt and drastic blockages of the coronavirus in late March to slow the spread of the deadly pathogen, but the workload has continued to grow exponentially. Restrictions are now lifted in order to revive the economy.
In a statement released this weekend, prominent members of the Indian Public Health Association, the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and the Indian Association of Epidemiologists criticized Mr. Modi’s government for ” inconsistent and often rapidly changing policies ”in the face of the pandemic.
He said that if millions of migrant workers had been allowed to return home before the lockdown – or when it started – while the spread of the disease was still limited, the current size and scale of the epidemic could have be avoided.

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