India has world's second-highest number of COVID-19 cases

An Indian health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man to test for COVID-19 as a woman waits for her turn in Gauhati India Sunday Sept. 6 2020

An Indian health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man to test for COVID-19 as a woman waits for her turn in Gauhati India Sunday Sept. 6 2020

As per the Union health ministry's dashboard, India on Wednesday logged 89,706 cases and 1,115 deaths due to Covid-19, taking the tally and death toll to 4,370,128 and 73,890 respectively. The country's total COVID-19 death toll is 71,642 - the third highest in the world after the USA and Brazil.

On the other hand, COVID-19 cases in the national capital are on the rise as it recorded a hike of 3,609 fresh infections on Tuesday evening.

India is now in second position, behind the United States of America in terms of total numbers of cases.

More than 60 per cent of active cases are in five predominantly rural states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The country moved to the centre stage of the global pandemic even as it accounted for over 40 percent of all cases recorded worldwide on Sunday, said a report published by The Times of India.

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This resulted in over $12 billion dollars in public healthcare being spent, with the average of $46,000 being spent on each COVID-19 case.

According to the John Hopkins University, which compiles pandemic figures, India now ranks third globally in virus-related deaths.

India has been testing more than 10 million people per day on average, with plans to ramp it up further. "1,098,621 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours testifying the enlarged testing capacity in the country", said the statement. Later this month, public gatherings of up to 100 people will also be permitted across the country, with social distancing rules.

While the rise in cases is alarming, India still has a low fatality rate, with 1.7% of its recorded cases ending in death. The lifting of lockdown measures continues nevertheless, with the New Delhi metro reopening on Monday. Commuters are required to wear face masks, take alternating seats and otherwise take precautions during rides. Indonesia confirmed its first cases in early March. Surjewala said adding the coronavirus infection is now spreading to smaller cities, towns and villages across the country, yet the Modi government carries on in a state of "ignorance and indifference".

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