India Becomes Third Country to Cross 1 Million Covid Cases
Patients laying on beds watch a television show at the Covid-19 Care Center set up at the Commonwealth Games Village Sports Complex in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

India Becomes Third Country to Cross 1 Million Covid Cases

India saw its coronavirus cases exceed 1 million, becoming the third country to cross that mark, as the novel pathogen continues to spread rapidly in the world’s second most-populous nation.

The south Asian country added 34,956 cases Friday taking the total tally to 1,003,832, according to data shared by India’s health ministry. It’s only trailing the U.S. and Brazil now, which have 3.6 million and 2 million infections respectively, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show.

With 1.3 billion people, India’s population is more than double of these two countries combined and is squeezed into a smaller land mass, implying the virus has plenty more room to run. Though India imposed the world’s most-expansive lockdown in the end of March with fewer than 1,000 cases, it could not suppress the viral transmission. As the economy nosedived, the government eased distancing measures causing the cases to spike.

Now senior members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have begun telling citizens they must “live with the virus” as they focus on India’s relatively low fatality rate as a marker of success, and try to build capacity to catch sick people early and treat them.

India has seen 25,602 deaths so far due to the novel coronavirus, according to the health ministry.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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