India surge continues with nearly 10,000 cases

NEW DELHI (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in India continued to rapidly increase yesterday, with officials reporting nearly 10,000 new cases over the past 24 hours.

The spike has come as the government moves forward with reopening restaurants, shopping malls and religious places in most of its states after a more than two-month-old lockdown.

The government has already partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. Subways, hotels and schools and colleges, however, remain shuttered nationwide.

The Health Ministry yesterday reported 24-hour increase of 9,985 cases and 274 deaths.

India has recorded 276,583 positive cases, the fifth highest in the world, and 7,745 deaths.

An auto rickshaw crosses a mural in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be fair higher due to a number of reasons such as limited testing.

Over 4.9 million tests have been conducted in the country of 1.3 billion people, with daily testing crossing 140,000 people.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi are the worst-hit states with 90,787, 34,914 and 31,309 positive cases respectively.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

KOREA TO REQUIRE QR CODE

South Korea has reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 as officials began requiring entertainment establishments, karaoke rooms and gyms to register their customers with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed.

The nationwide requirement of QR codes at “high-risk” venues come after a weeklong trial run in the cities of Seoul, Incheon and Daejeon. The government is also encouraging places of worship, libraries, hospitals and movie theatres to voluntarily adopt the technology. Critics have raised privacy concerns.

CHINA REPORTS THREE CASES

China said its three latest cases of coronavirus infection were brought from outside the country. No new deaths were reported yesterday and just 55 people remain in treatment for COVID-19, while another 157 were being monitored in isolation.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths among 83,046 cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.