Published On: Thu, Jul 2nd, 2020

India virus count tops 600,000 amid recent surge

New Delhi: India’s number of coronavirus cases passed 600,000 on Thursday with the nation’s infection curve rising and its testing capacity being increased.

Healthcare workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are showered with flower petals by the residents to show gratitude towards the frontline workers fighting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on the occasion of National Doctor’s Day in Kolkata, India, July 1, 2020. Photo: Reuters

The 19,148 new cases reported in the past 24 hours raised the national total to 604,641, with nearly 100,000 of them in the past four days.

A total of 17,834 people have died so far due to the virus, according to India’s Health Ministry.

More than 60% of the cases are in the worst-hit Maharashtra state, Tamil Nadu state, and the capital territory of New Delhi.

However, the western beach of state of Goa, a popular backpacking destination, opened for tourism on Thursday with the state government allowing 250 hotels to reopen after more than three months. Tourists will either have to carry COVID-19 negative certificates or get tested on arrival.

The state has reported 1,387 positive cases with four deaths.

Many industries and businesses have reopened since the country eased its strict lockdown in early June, and Indians have cautiously returned to the streets. Schools, colleges and movie theaters remain shuttered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a live address Tuesday that the death rate is under control but the country is at a “critical juncture.” He urged more stringent enforcement of distancing and other health guidelines.

The Health Ministry said testing has been ramped up to more than 200,000 every day, with 8.8 million test conducted so far. The recovery rate is 59.43%.

The Associated Press

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