BFF-50 India reports record daily cases in coronavirus battle

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BFF-50

VIRUS-HEALTH-INDIA

India reports record daily cases in coronavirus battle

NEW DELHI, July 5, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – India added a record number of
coronavirus cases Sunday, as the world’s fourth worst-hit nation
opened a huge treatment centre with 10,000 beds in the capital to
fight the epidemic.

The health ministry reported just under 25,000 cases and 613 deaths
in 24 hours — the biggest daily spike since the first case was
detected in late January.

The surge took India’s total tally to more than 673,000 cases and
19,268 deaths.

It came as the capital New Delhi started treating patients at a
spiritual centre converted into a sprawling isolation facility and
hospital with 10,000 beds, many made of cardboard and chemically
coated to make them waterproof.

About the size of 20 football fields, the facility on the outskirts
of the city will treat mild symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

State government officials fear Delhi, home to 25 million people,
could record more than half-a-million cases by the end of the month.

The city has repurposed some hotels to provide hospital care. It is
also converting wedding halls and has several hundred modified railway
coaches standing by.

A strict lockdown in place since late March has gradually been
lifted, allowing most activities as the economy nose-dived amid the
shutdown.

But the number of cases across the vast nation of 1.3 billion people
has climbed steeply and is now close to surpassing badly-hit Russia.

Schools, metro trains in cities, cinemas, gyms and swimming pools
remain closed and international flights are still grounded.

Authorities have made wearing masks mandatory in public places,
while large gatherings are banned and shops and other public
establishments are required to implement social distancing.

The western state of Maharashtra, the worst-hit state and home to
financial hub Mumbai, recorded over 7,000 new cases while Southern
Tamil Nadu state and Delhi recorded more than 4,200 and 2,500 fresh
cases respectively.

Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital, are the
worst-affected cities.

The national government says it has tackled the virus well but
critics allege India is conducting very few tests, leaving the true
scale of the pandemic unknown.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2210hrs