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Over 1 million: India joins U.S., Brazil in grim coronavirus club

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor July 18, 2020 16:08

India on Friday became the third country in the world to record more than one million cases of the new coronavirus, behind only the United States and Brazil, as infections spread further into the countryside and smaller towns.

Given India’s population of around 1.3 billion, experts say, one million is relatively low – but the number will rise significantly in the coming months as testing increases, further straining a healthcare system already pushed to the brink.

The pandemic has surged in the country in recent weeks as it spread beyond the biggest cities, pushing India past Russia as the third-most-infected country last week.

Authorities imposed fresh lockdowns and designated new containment zones in several states this week, including the largely rural Bihar state in the east and the southern tech hub Bengaluru, where cases have spiked.

But officials have the struggled to enforce the lockdowns and keep people indoors.

India recorded 34,956 new infections on Friday, taking the total to 1,003,832, with 25,602 deaths from COVID-19, federal health ministry data showed. That compares to 3.6 million cases in the United States and 2 million in Brazil – countries with less than a third of India’s population.

Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor July 18, 2020 16:08