India's coronavirus cases jump by another 96k

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India's coronavirus cases jump by another 96k

Friday, September 18, 2020

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NEW DELHI, India (AP) — India's coronavirus cases jumped by another 96,424 in the past 24 hours, showing little sign of leveling.

The Health Ministry on Friday raised the nation's total cases to 5.21 million, or 0.37 per cent of its nearly 1.4 billion people. It said 1,174 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 84,372 fatalities. Experts say India'sdeathtoll may be a significant undercount.

India is expected to have the highest number of confirmed cases within weeks, surpassing the United States, where more than 6.67 million people have been infected.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday Thursday made a fresh appeal to people to wear masks and maintain social distancing as his government prepared plans for handling big congregations expected during a major Hindu festival season beginning next month.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said with a recovery rate of more than 78 per cent, India has only 1 million active coronavirus cases.

Nearly 60 per cent of the active cases are concentrated in five of India's 28 states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Worst-hit western Maharashtra state accounted for 474 of the 1,174 fatalities reported in the country in the past 24 hours.

Authorities extended until the end of September a ban on assemblies of four or more people in Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital. More than 178,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus in Mumbai, including 8,320 who died.

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