India’s infections surge to 5.4m | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:17 AM, September 21, 2020

India’s infections surge to 5.4m

England imposes up to $13,000 fine for breaking Covid rules; France sees another record daily rise

India's coronavirus case tally surged to 5.4 million as it added 92,605 new infections in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed yesterday.

The country has posted the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, and lags behind only the United States, which has 6.7 million cases in terms of total infections.

A total of 1,113 people died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, India's health ministry said, taking mortalities to 86,752, which is a relatively low 1.6% of all cases.

In Europe, Britain is at a tipping point on Covid-19, health minister Matt Hancock said yesterday, warning that a second national lockdown could be imposed if people don't follow government rules.

Covid-19 cases have risen sharply in recent weeks to more than 4,000 per day. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called it a second wave and stricter lockdown measures have been introduced in areas across the country - with London possibly next in line.

"The nation faces a tipping point and we have a choice," Hancock told Sky News. "The choice is either that everybody follows the rules ... or we will have to take more measures."

People who refuse to self-isolate to stop the spread of coronavirus could face fines of up to 10,000 British pounds ($13,000) under tough new regulations announced to tackle a surge in cases.

The rules will apply from September 28 to anyone in England who tests positive for the virus or is notified by public health workers that they have been in contact with someone infectious.

France confirmed nearly 13,500 new cases over a 24-hour period on Saturday, setting another daily record in the number of infections in the country since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The new cases bring the total number of recorded instances of the virus in France to 442,194.

The number of people who have died from the virus also rose by 26 during the same 24-period, bringing the total deaths from Covid-19 in France to 31,274 since March.

The pandemic has killed at least 957,948 people in the world since emerging in China late last year, according to an AFP tally yesterday based on official sources.

More than 30.8 million people have been infected.

The United States has the most deaths with 199,268, followed by Brazil with 136,532, India with 86,752, Mexico with 73,258 and Britain with 41,759.

Belgium passed the 100,000 milestone of infections following a sharp increase in cases in recent weeks, according to figures from the research institute Sciensano.

The trend accelerated markedly in the first half of September, reaching an average of 1,000 new daily infections during the week of September 9 to 15, according to the data.

FEWER US ELECTION MONITORS

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors elections in many parts of the world, said it will only send a small team to observe the US polls in November due to the pandemic.

No short-term observers will be deployed to monitor the election on the day, Katya Andrusz, OSCE spokeswoman, tells AFP. The team for the elections on November 3 will consist of just 14 analysts and 30 long-term observers.

In China, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said a fifth wave of the virus in the country is possible, amid warnings that vigilance was needed for the approaching winter.

South Korea yesterday extended level 2 social distancing for a week until September 27, which limits indoor gatherings to below 50 and outdoor to less than 100, and may tighten limits for the Chuseok holiday when people traditionally reunite with families.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the level 2 restrictions need to be kept ahead of Chuseok as "cases with untraceable origins are steadily increasing and fewer tests being carried out on weekends means we should be on high alert."

Australia looked set to record its lowest daily increase in new cases in three months yesterday as a hard lockdown in the city of Melbourne brought the country's virus epicentre down sharply.

The second-most populous state Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, reported 14 new infections in the 24 hours to yesterday morning, down from 21 new cases the day prior and its lowest since June 19.

That put Victoria, which has spent months under lockdown to slow a second wave of infections, on track to meet a target of keeping average daily increases below 50 by September 28 when the authorities have said they may lift restrictions.

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