NEW DELHI (AP) – India’s coronavirus caseload has become the fourth-highest in the world, overtaking Britain, by adding 10,956 new cases in yet another biggest single-day spike.
India’s two-month lockdown kept transmission low but in a large population of 1.3 billion, people remain susceptible and the campaign against the virus is likely to go on for months, Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said.
India’s lockdown was imposed nationwide in late March but has eased since, and it is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas. The spiking caseload came after India allowed reopening of shops, shopping malls, manufacturing and religious places.
Subway, schools, colleges and movie halls, however, remain shuttered nationwide.
The increase reported Friday raised India’s national caseload to 297,535 with 8,498 deaths, according to the Health Ministry. The death toll increased 396 in the past 24 hours.
India’s number of confirmed cases is behind only the United States, Brazil and Russia.
Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai are the worst-hit cities in the country, and Bhargava said urban residents have greater chance of contracting the virus. Infections in rural areas have surged, however, after migrant workers who left cities and towns after they lost jobs returned to their hometowns.