India’s COVID-19 cases pass 9 mn, Africa surpasses 2 mn cases | Daily News

India’s COVID-19 cases pass 9 mn, Africa surpasses 2 mn cases

INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA: India’s COVID-19 coronavirus cases passed nine million on Friday, as the world’s second-worst-hit country saw hospitals in the capital New Delhi under pressure and graveyards fill up.

India has now registered more than 131,500 deaths, according to the latest official figures, which are widely seen as understating the true scale of the pandemic.

The total number of infections in India is second only to the tally in the United States, which has recorded 11.6 million cases and more than 250,000 deaths.



A health worker conducts a COVID-19 test in Johannesburg, South Africa.

India, the world’s second-most populous nation, has seen a drop in daily cases over the past month but it is still registering about 45,000 new infections on average every day.

New Delhi has quadrupled fines for not wearing a mask in an effort to get a grip on the outbreak.

The western city of Ahmedabad, home to six million people, late Thursday announced an indefinite night curfew after an uptick in cases.

In Delhi, the spectre of the virus wreaking havoc has come back to haunt its 20 million residents, as families scramble to arrange hospital beds.Meanwhile, the African Continent has surpassed 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as the continent’s top public health official warned that “we are inevitably edging toward a second wave” of infections.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 54-nation continent has seen more than 48,000 deaths from COVID-19. Its infections and deaths make up less than 4 percent of the global total.

The African continent of 1.3 billion people is being warned against “prevention fatigue” as countries loosen pandemic restrictions to ease their economies’ suffering and more people travel.

While the world takes hope from promising COVID-19 vaccines, African health officials also worry the continent will suffer as richer countries buy up supplies.

Nearly 20 countries in Africa are now seeing a more than 20 per cent increase in cases over the past four weeks, WHO said.

This time the surge is driven not by South Africa, but by North African nations as temperatures fall there.

Several African countries have confirmed virus cases in the six figures. South Africa leads with more than 750,000, while Morocco has more than 300,000, Egypt more than 110,000 and Ethiopia more than 100,000.

Kenya is the latest concern as it now sees a fresh surge in cases. At least four doctors died on Saturday alone, leading a powerful health union in the country to threaten a nationwide strike starting next month.

The African continent has conducted 20 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began, but shortages mean the true number of infections is unknown.

- AFP, THE GUARDIAN