Khawaja Dawood/The Santiago Times Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI – India on Sunday recorded the third highest coronavirus caseload in the world, overtaking Russia.
The South Asian country now has 6,97,096 coronavirus cases at the time of publishing, 15,818 postive cases more than Russia, according to official health ministry figures. There are currently 2,52,485 active cases in India. The death toll is 19,699, while as many as 4,24,885 have recovered till date.
Globally, the United States has registered the most number of cases so far (2,965,157). Brazil, is the second worst-hit nation with over 1.579 million cases.
India on Sunday reported its largest daily increase of COVID-19 cases on Sunday since the pandemic struck the subcontinent in late January.
New Delhi, the country’s capital, has begun treating patients in a spiritual centre that has been converted into a quarantine shelter and medical facility with around 10,000 beds, many of which are made of cardboard. The venue, which is the size of twenty football fields, will be used to treat patients with mild symptoms.
The government is concerned that half a million people could be infected in New Delhi by the end of July. So far, 97,000 have contracted the virus in the capital, according to a Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center tally.
Along with New Delhi, located in the north, Mumbai in the country’s west and Chennai in the southeast are India’s worst-affected cities.
Schools, metro stations, cinemas, sports venues and swimming pools remain closed in the country and international flights have been halted, but some business activities have resumed.
The Indian Council of Medical Research, the agency leading the country’s COVID-19 response, hopes to develop a vaccine by August 15 – India’s independence day – and asked clinical trial investigators to enroll participants by July 7.