India's COVID-19 cases jump by daily record of 97,894 infections

India's COVID-19 cases jump by daily record of 97,894 infections

Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Delhi
A man selling stuffed toys waits for customers at a market amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

BENGALURU: India reported another record jump in daily coronavirus infections with 97,894 cases in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed on Thursday (Sep 17).

With 5.12 million cases in all, India is the world's second-worst affected country, and trails only the United States, which has a caseload of around 6.6 million.

Deaths, which have been relatively low so far, are showing an uptick, and the country has recorded more than 1,000 deaths every day for the last two weeks.

On Thursday, the federal health ministry said 1,132 people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking total fatalities from the disease to 83,198.

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Home to 1.3 billion people, India has reported some of the highest daily case jumps in the world recently, with the latest million infections detected over just 11 days.

Some experts have warned that the total number of cases could be far higher in the vast nation, which has been easing one of the world's strictest lockdowns to help its reeling economy.

"People have lost their fear or are too tired (of) being cautious. They want to be out and earn a living right now," Jayant Surana, a New Delhi-based entrepreneur, told AFP.

The surge in infections has piled pressure on hospitals grappling with unreliable supplies of oxygen that they need to treat tens of thousands of critical patients.

In the big states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, that are also some of the worst-affected by the virus, demand for oxygen has more than tripled, doctors and government officials said, prompting urgent calls for help.

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Source: Agencies/jt