COVID-19 cases in India surges over 2 million
With daily surge in COVID-19 cases, averaging 50,000 per day, India has joined the United States and Brazil to cross the two million mark, having recorded 2.03 million cases as at Friday.
The infection is reportedly spreading to small towns and villages as experts fear that India's peak is still months away, even as overburdened health systems take on more strain.
“A country of India’s size and diversity has multiple epidemics in different phases,” said Rajib Dasgupta, head of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
The health ministry said on Friday there were 62,538 new infections, taking the country’s total to 2.03 million.
India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June, but experts say its testing rate at 16,035 per million people is far too low.
Still, the government has taken some solace from the relatively low death rate, at about 2%, with 41,585 deaths so far, though that figure will be understated as only deaths of people who have been tested for the virus are counted.
Epidemiologists say the epidemic in India is likely to be months away from hitting its peak, which will put an already overburdened healthcare system under more strain.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a strict lockdown on March 25, during the initial stages of the outbreak, causing mass movement of migrant workers from cities back to their villages.