Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

India's coronavirus infections surge to 5.4 million

Oman has seen a sharp rise in cases with authorities on Sunday reporting 1,722 infections and 28 deaths in the last 72 hours

An Indian woman wearing a face mask walking in the street in Bangalore, India on 19 September 2020. India has the second highest total of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world. EPA
An Indian woman wearing a face mask walking in the street in Bangalore, India on 19 September 2020. India has the second highest total of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world. EPA

India's coronavirus case tally surged to 5.4 million as it added 92,605 new infections in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed on Sunday.

A total of 1,113 people died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the Indian health ministry said, taking mortalities to 86,752, which is a relatively low 1.6 per cent of all cases.

The country has posted the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, and lags behind only the United States, which has 6.7 million cases, in terms of total infections.

Oman has also seen a surge in cases. Authorities on Sunday reported 1,722 infections and 28 deaths in the last 72 hours, averaging 574 infections and nine deaths per day over three days.

The US has the highest death tally from Covid-19 in the world, with more than 200,000 Americans dying from the coronavirus, but experts are warning that the toll could double in the next few months.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington forecast that a surge in new infections in autumn and winter, combined with an increasing reluctance to follow public health measures, could result in more than 415,000 deaths by January.

In Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, severe lockdown restrictions could soon be eased after recording only 14 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, AP reported.

But in the UK, restrictions are tightening with new fines of up to £10,000 (Dh47,440) for self-isolation breaches coming in as the country braces for a second wave of the virus.

On Saturday, the UK government warned that, from September 28, people who violate orders to self-isolate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus could face fines from £1,000 up to £10,000.

South Korea’s daily infections have fallen below 100 for the first time in more than a month as the recent resurgence of the virus gradually eases.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Sunday that the 82 new cases took the country’s total to 22,975 with 383 deaths.

It was the first time for South Korea’s daily infection rate dropped to double digits since August 13. The fall is likely partly driven by the fact that authorities conduct fewer tests on weekends than weekdays.

Before Sunday, South Korea’s daily case tally had stayed below 200 for more than two weeks, after once passing 400 in late August. Health officials said the downward trend was the result of stringent social distancing rules imposed on the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area. The rules were recently relaxed.

The World Health Organisation endorsed a protocol for testing African herbal medicines as potential treatments for the coronavirus and other epidemics.

Covid-19 has raised the issue of using traditional medicine to battle contemporary diseases, and the endorsement clearly encouraged testing with criteria similar to those used for potential treatments developed in laboratories.

Updated: September 20, 2020 02:57 PM

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