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India surpasses Brazil in number of COVID-19 cases

NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – India s Covid-19 tally rose to over 4.20 million cases, overtaking Brazil as the country with the second-highest recorded cases. The pandemic continued its surge in India, with more than 91,000 fresh infections.

Daily Covid-19 cases in India zoomed to another record high on Sunday with more than 91,000 fresh infections, capping the deadliest week yet of the pandemic in the country. Over 5.8 lakh coronavirus cases were recorded during the week (August 31-September 6), a 13% jump over the previous week (August 24-30), as per data collated from state governments. This was the second straight week of double-digit growth in cases as the August 24-30 week too had seen a 13% rise.

According to Maharashtra State Health Department, 23,350 new Covid-19 cases and 328 deaths reported in the state on Sunday; total in the state rises to 907,212 including 26,604 deaths.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria had asserted that the daily cases will continue to rise for some more months since India is witnessing a second wave of Covid-19 in some of the regions.

“We can’t say that the pandemic will not spillover to 2021 but what we can say is that the curve will be flatter instead of rising very steeply. We should be able to say the pandemic is ending early next year,” Dr Guleria said.

Meanwhile, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 27.2 million mark, while the deaths have increased to over 887,000. The total number of cases stood at 27,283,452 and the fatalities rose to 887,305.

The US accounted for the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 6,460,250 and 193,250 respectively.

“We focused too much on building ventilators and intensive care units because that is where we thought in March our priorities might lie. But, in terms of public health capacity, through primary healthcare practices like early detection through symptomatic household surveillance and energetic contact tracing, some of these measures really didn t succeed very much,” K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, told Anadolu Agency.

Control of crowded events, whether in markets or religious space, have not been successful on the ground, said the head of the Delhi-based think tank, adding: “They [control measures] haven t been applied strictly as they were applied in the first two phases of lockdown.”

Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Washington-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, said that given the population and public health infrastructure, India could only hope to delay, but not eliminate, COVID-19.

“I had said back in March in a New York Times op-ed that given the population and public health infrastructure, India could only hope to delay but not eliminate COVID. Nothing has changed since then. Lockdowns are periodic brakes on transmission but the COVID train continues to move along,” he told Anadolu Agency, adding that “we have to hope for a safe and effective vaccine at the earliest.”

With the number of COVID-19 cases steadily increasing each day, India is approaching pandemic figures similar to those of Brazil, which is currently ranked second in the world in both infections and deaths. India recently added one million cases in just 20 days.

Experts worry that India may even surpass the US — the worst-affected country worldwide — in the severity of the pandemic.

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