Covid cases in India double in three weeks | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:34 AM, August 08, 2020

Covid cases in India double in three weeks

Hit 2m-mark; US sees 2,060 deaths in 24 hrs as global cases top 19m

India's official coronavirus case tally hit two million yesterday, doubling in three weeks as the pandemic sweeps into smaller cities and rural areas, with experts warning the real toll could be much higher.

A record daily jump of more than 60,000 fresh infections was recorded, according to health ministry data, making the South Asian giant only the third country to surpass the two million milestone after the United States and Brazil.

The rate of spread in the world's second-most populous country also appears to be increasing. India logged its first one million infections by July 17 and crossed the 1.5 million mark just 12 days after that.

Official figures show the country has now recorded 2.03 million infections and 41,585 deaths.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government imposed one of the world's strictest lockdowns in late March.

But with Asia's third-largest economy reeling from the impact -- tens of millions of migrant workers lost their jobs almost overnight -- the restrictions have been steadily eased.

Previously the main hotspots have been the teeming megacities of New Delhi and Mumbai, home to some of the world's biggest slums.

But now smaller cities and rural areas -- where 70 percent of Indians live -- have begun to see case numbers rising sharply.

At least 19,127,000 coronavirus cases and 715,000 deaths have been registered worldwide, figures compiled by AFP from official sources showed, driven by surges in Latin America and India.

The United States has recorded the most deaths with almost 160,000, followed by Brazil with nearly 100,000. Globally, 40 percent of all cases have been notched in the two countries.

US DEATH TOLL SOARS

Daily coronavirus deaths in the US surged to a three-month high of 2,060 on Thursday, a tracker by Johns Hopkins University showed.

But other corners of the globe were also marking grim milestones, with Mexico's official toll soaring above 50,000 dead and the continent of Africa hitting one million confirmed cases.

More than half of Africa's infections are in South Africa, which has the fifth highest number of infections in the world, after the US, Brazil, India and Russia.

Nevertheless the African continent remains one of the least affected, according to the official figures, with only Oceania registering fewer Covid-19 cases.

Europe remains the hardest-hit region worldwide with more than 200,000 fatalities since the virus first emerged in China late last year.

As governments across the globe struggle to salvage economies ravaged by months of lockdown, many have been forced to look at new measures to curb outbreaks of Covid-19 since they lifted initial containment orders.

Such is the case in Europe where nations imposed new travel restrictions and containment measures with fears growing over a second wave of infections.

In Australia, the second-largest city Melbourne entered the country's toughest lockdown yet on Thursday, closing non-essential businesses and requiring hundreds of thousands more people to stay home.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Germany is the latest to introduce mandatory tests for travelers returning from designated risk zones, starting today, as fears grow over rising case numbers blamed on summer holidays and local outbreaks.

Germany's list of "risk zones" currently includes most non-EU countries, as well as certain provinces in Belgium and Spain.

Neighboring Austria on Thursday announced it would issue a travel warning for mainland Spain, becoming the latest country to do so amid a rise in new coronavirus cases in the fellow EU member.

Finland also introduced new controls on arrivals from some EU countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Andorra, putting a stop to tourists arriving from there and imposing a 14-day quarantine on other returnees.

"The situation is extremely delicate," the health ministry's strategic director Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki said, adding that "some sort of second stage has begun."

Britain has reimposed quarantine for travelers from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas.

Norway announced Thursday that France would be considered a red zone due to the resurgence of coronavirus cases there, meaning all travellers arriving from France face a mandatory ten-day quarantine.

Switzerland, Monaco and the Czech Republic were also hit with similar restrictions, as well as two Swedish regions, the Norwegian foreign affairs ministry said.

BUSINESS STRUGGLES

Many nations are seeing new outbreaks, forcing local or citywide lockdowns and other quarantine measures.

Poland will re-impose compulsory face masks in all public spaces in nine districts amid a new high in infections.

The restrictions will come into force from today and will also affect sports and cultural events in those areas, mainly in the south and east.

Greece's government on Wednesday announced a "wake-up week" on Covid-19, tightening restrictions after the steady rise in mostly domestic infections.

Officials have blamed the increase on overcrowding in clubs and social events.

The new virus outbreaks are forcing officials into an uncomfortable trade-off between public health and the need to bring economies back to life.

German airline Lufthansa on Thursday became the latest to reveal the fallout from the pandemic, announcing forced layoffs and a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) loss in the second quarter, the worst in its history.

 

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222


Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top