India sees fewest new cases of coronavirus in nearly two months | India


India has recorded 55,342 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, its lowest total in a day since mid-August.The Health Ministry on Tuesday raised India’s confirmed total to more than 7.18 million cases, but said the country was showing a downward trend in daily cases over the past five weeks.

According to ministry data, the average number of daily cases between September 9 and September 15 was 92,830.

That average has steadily declined since, falling to less than 73,000 per day over the past week.

The health ministry also reported 706 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the toll to 109,856.

The states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh reported the most deaths, with nearly 60 percent of the national total.

Meanwhile, the testing rate in India has remained constant, with over a million tests performed every day.

But experts say the actual number of infections may be much higher, as testing rates in the vast country – home to some of the most populous cities in the world – are far lower than those in many other countries.

India, home to nearly 1.4 billion people, is second in the world in the total number of COVID-19 cases, behind the United States alone, which is approaching the 8 million mark.

India imposed one of the region’s toughest national lockdowns in March, forcing people to stay at home and shutting down businesses, and sparking an exodus of millions of migrant workers.

In June, the country began a gradual reopening of economic activities.

Starting Thursday, theaters will reopen at 50% capacity while the federal government has left the decision to reopen schools and other public places to state governments.

Experts fear, however, that the upcoming festival season – when large crowds gather for public celebrations – could make matters worse.

Anticipating a new wave of cases, the government has issued strict guidelines and capped the number of revelers for the two main Hindu festivals of Dussehra on October 25 and Diwali early next month.

Meanwhile, the government has said it hopes to have a vaccine ready soon.

“We anticipate that by early next year we should have the vaccine in the country from maybe more than one source,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said as quoted by DNA newspaper.

“Our expert groups are developing strategies to plan the deployment of vaccine distribution in the country.”


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