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COVID-19 deaths rise in India and cases in Seoul


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An Indian health worker disinfects an area in Guwahati, India, on Aug. 13, 2020.

AP Photo

India on Friday became the fourth country with the most deaths from coronavirus in the world, surpassing Great Britain, after another day of records. The Ministry of Health reported 1,007 deaths in the last 24 hours, for a total of 48,040 that place the country behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

The number of infected rose to 2,461,190 after the 64,553 confirmed in the same period, the ministry said. Only the United States and Brazil have more positive cases than India, where more than 70% of those who contracted the disease have recovered.

The daily increase in cases was around 15,000 in the first week of July, but rose to more than 50,000 a month later. According to the authorities, this is due to the increase in screening tests, with more than 800,000 a day, bringing the total carried out to more than 26 million.

But health experts say more tests should be done given that the country has 1.4 billion people.

The two-month quarantine imposed across the country at the end of March helped reduce infections. But the measures have been eased and now apply only to high-risk areas. The infections erupted when India opened shops and factories and allowed hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to return home from areas affected by the pandemic.

The subway, schools and cinemas remain closed.

For its part, South Korea reported 103 new cases on Friday, its worst daily figure in months, and authorities were concerned that infections are getting out of control in cities. Of the new infections, 83 were in the Seoul area, but there were also in Busan, Gwangju and Ulsan.

This rebound is worrying because it was driven by local broadcasts, something that health authorities say could worsen due to increased travel during the summer holiday season. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said that if cases continue to rise, authorities could be forced to increase social distancing measures in the capital Seoul metropolitan area, something some politicians are reluctant to do on economic grounds. .

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lifted the quarantine imposed in July on a major city near the border with the South, where thousands of people spent weeks in isolation for fear of the coronavirus. Kim insisted that the country will keep its borders closed and rejected foreign aid while carrying out an aggressive campaign against the virus.

In New Zealand, authorities are investigating whether the transfer of workers was the source of the first domestic outbreak of the virus in more than three months. The outbreak has risen to 30 people and spread beyond Auckland, the country’s main city.

China reported eight new infections on Friday in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where the country’s last major coronavirus outbreak is mostly under control. The National Health Commission confirmed another 22 positives in citizens who returned to the country. Hong Kong registered 69 infections and three more deaths in the last 24 hours.




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