The rise in cases coincides with the country’s partial lifting of lockdown.
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The Ministry of Health reported that there had been a daily increase of 6,535 coronavirus cases, bringing the toll up to 145,380 cases. In total, there have been 4,167 officially recorded coronavirus deaths. The country has now moved into the top 10 in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases.
Despite the increase in cases, however, officials were keen to stress that India had one of the lowest fatality rates in the world, and that the country had a recovery rate of 41.61%. ]
In the early stages of the pandemic, the true numbers of infected were unclear, but the country has now increased testing capacity to 110,000 samples per day, the Indian Council of Medical Research said.
The rise in cases comes after a partial lift in the lockdown instituted in March. Domestic travel within the country resumed on Monday, with the Ministry of Health recommending that all airports, railway and bus stations are regularly sanitized, as well as thermal screening at the point of departure and compulsory mask wearing for passengers.
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The leader of the opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, criticized the government for their handling of the crisis, saying that there was not enough coordination between national and regional governments in a press conference held on Tuesday.
“Two months ago, the prime minister [Narendra Modi] said we were going to fight a 21-day-war against COVID,” he said. “It was his expectation that we would defeat the COVID virus in 21 days. Now we are on 60 days, and we are the only country in the world where the virus is exponentially rising and we are removing the lockdown.”
“It is pretty clear that the aim and the purpose of our lockdown has failed,” he said.
Experts have long feared the potential of the novel coronavirus to wreak havoc on India’s under-resourced health system, in a country where overcrowding, particularly in poor areas, makes social distancing near impossible.
For a country of its size, India has an alarmingly low rate of physicians, with less than eight medical per 10,000 people, according to the statistics from the WHO. The United States, by contrast, has 26 physicians per 10,000 people, more than triple the proportion of India, according to the same statistics.