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Coronavirus

India Records more than 8,000 New Infections in a Day

NEW DELHI, India — India has recorded more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus in a single day for the first time as the infection tally surged to 182,143.

The death toll climbed to 5,164 after 193 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry data. This week has been the deadliest in India, with cases of infections and deaths reaching a new high almost every day.

Overall, more than 60% of the country’s virus fatalities have been reported from only two states — Maharashtra, the financial hub of India, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new cases of infections are also largely concentrated in six Indian states, including the national capital New Delhi.

Public health experts have criticized the Modi government’s handling of the outbreak. A joint statement by the Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and Indian Association of Epidemiologists, which was submitted to Modi’s office on May 25, said it was “unrealistic” to eliminate the virus at a time when “community transmission is already well-established.”

India has denied of any community transmission of the virus even though new cases have continued to mount significantly.

The health experts said that the infections were rising exponentially despite India’s “draconian lockdown” which began on March 25. The restrictions have slowly been relaxed in the months since with the government announcing on Saturday a phased ‘Unlock 1’ plan from June onwards which allows more economic activities to restart.

The restrictions in so-called containment zones — areas that have been isolated due to coronavirus outbreaks — will, however, remain through June 30.

Experts warn that the pandemic is yet to peak in India.

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