India Confirms 9 Million Coronavirus Infections

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Lauren Frayer / NPR

India’s total reported coronavirus cases have surpassed 9 million – a milestone so far crossed only by the United States.

But new infections appear to be declining in India, with 45,882 new cases reported Friday, compared to daily tallies that were more than double that, in September.

Some scientists have questioned the reliability of India’s testing regime and kits.

India’s caseload reached 9,004,365 on Friday. That’s the second-highest in the world, behind the U.S, which has confirmed 11,717,951 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Brazil is third, with nearly 6 million cases, but its death toll is higher than India’s.

Because India’s population is so large, nearly 1.4 billion, the country’s per capita infection rate remains much lower than those countries. About 0.6% of people in India have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

The Indian capital New Delhi remains a hotspot, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, where a weekend curfew has been called in the city of Ahmedabad.

In Delhi, a spike in infections has coincided with the Hindu festival season, when families gather in large groups, and a subsequent spike in air pollution, which scientists say exacerbates the transmission and severity of …

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