India’s death toll from the new coronavirus surpassed that of France on Friday with 30,601 deaths and nearly 50,000 new cases overnight, according to official data.
The death toll is sixth behind the United States, Brazil, Britain, Mexico and Italy, according to an AFP tally. It has the third highest number of cases with nearly 1.3 million infections.
In the past 24 hours, the country has recorded 740 new deaths from the virus and 49,310 new infections, according to the health ministry.
But many experts say that with low levels of testing, the extent of the pandemic in the world’s second most populous country could be much worse than what has been officially announced.
A government-commissioned antibody study this week showed that nearly a quarter of people in the capital New Delhi have had the virus – nearly 40 times the official number.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world at the end of March, but it has been gradually relaxed to ease the devastating economic impact of the pandemic.
State governments introduced new restrictions as cases skyrocketed in Bangalore and away from major cities in Bihar, West Bengal, Kashmir and parts of Tamil Nadu.
The previously hailed southern state of Kerala, which has already imposed partial restrictions, may decide on Monday to impose a full statewide lockdown, according to reports.
France Media Agency