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India Reported 62,212 New Cases in the Past 24 Hours

Αssociated Press

Indians wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus chat as they wait for transport in Jammu, India, Tuesday, Oct.13, 2020. (AP Photo/ Channi Anand)

NEW DELHI — India reported 62,212 new cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total to more than 7.4 million and continuing a downward trend.

The Health Ministry on Saturday also registered 837 additional fatalities, taking the death toll to 112,998.

The worst-hit western Maharashtra state accounted for nearly 36% of total fatalities.

According to the Health Ministry, India’s average number of daily cases dropped to 72,576 last week from 92,830 during the week of Sept. 9-15, when the virus peaked. It is recording an average of around 70,000 cases daily so far this month.

But some experts say India’s figures may not be reliable because of poor reporting and inadequate health infrastructure. India is also relying heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

Health officials have warned about the potential for the virus to spread during the religious festival season beginning later this month. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told reporters on Friday that the next two months were particularly crucial because of the winter season and festivals.

New Delhi is also bracing for high air pollution levels, making the coronavirus fight more complicated in upcoming months.