India records another 89,000 new virus cases

NEW DELHI (AP) – India added another 89,706 coronavirus cases to the second-highest reported tally in the world, and the government is saying schools will re-open later this month for senior students after more than five months closed.

According to the Health Ministry, India’s total caseload yesterday reached 4.37 million. The ministry also reported 1,115 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 73,890. India has the second-most reported cases in the world and the third-most reported deaths behind the United States (US) and Brazil.

Over one million people have tested positive for the coronavirus in India in less than two weeks. Testing has been ramped up to more than one million daily, with cumulative testing exceeding 50 million.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday announced partial re-opening of schools from September 21 for students of 9th to 12th grades for taking teachers’ guidance. Online learning will still be permitted.

India’s famed white marble Taj Mahal in the northern city of Agra will also re-open on September 21 with access restricted to 5,000 tourists daily to prevent overcrowding.

A health worker screens people for symptoms of COVID-19 in Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums, in Mumbai, India. PHOTO: AP

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus infections in South Korea has stayed below 200 for the seventh straight day, amid elevated social distancing rules.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday the 156 cases added in the past 24 hours took the country’s tally to 21,588 with 344 deaths.

The agency said 100 of the new cases were locally transmitted patients in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the centre of a viral resurgence since early August. Authorities in the Seoul area recently ordered the shutdown of night establishments and after-school academics while allowing restaurants to provide only take-outs and deliveries after 9pm.

South Korea on Monday reported 119 new cases in its lowest daily jump in more than three weeks. Its daily jump once surpassed 400 in late August.