As India became the third nation to hit seven-figures for total coronavirus cases Friday, parts of the country are ordering residents to return to lockdowns and restrictions to try and slow the virus’ spread and relieve pressure on the country’s drained healthcare system.
- India reported just over 1 million cases and 25,602 deaths Friday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, making it the country with the third highest overall cases but ranking eighth when it comes to fatalities attributed to the virus.
- According to CNN, 34,956 new cases were reported Friday, a record for the country.
- India’s largest cities have seen the worst of the pandemic, largely because of cramped urban housing that makes social distancing difficult, but the coronavirus is beginning to spread to rural areas, according to media reports.
- Experts warn the increase of coronavirus cases will place even more pressure on India’s already fatigued hospitals.
- Regional lockdowns are becoming more common as viral flare ups are reported, such as in the state of Bihar which counted upwards of 20,000 new cases in a single day this week, according to the New York Times, while India’s most inhabited state, Uttar Pradesh, has implemented curfews on weekends, AP reported.
- Even smaller-scale crackdowns are being ordered by some local government entities across India, that can apply to zones as tiny as “a few houses or a street,” according to AP.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown of all 1.3 billion residents in March, it was the world’s most vast coronavirus crackdown. But the government loosened restrictions after it took a toll on the economy, with a reported 100 million people out of work. The Associated Press reported that three states have counted more than 50% of the country’s overall number of positive tests: Maharashtra, which is the second most populated, Delhi, which contains the country’s capital and Tamil Nadu, a state in the south. Dr. Anand Krishnan, epidemiology professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told the New York Times that India’s relatively low death toll for its number of cases compared to other countries is probably because India's population is young and has less pre-existing conditions that make coronavirus complications more likely. The news of India reaching 1 million cases comes as Brazil, the second-hardest hit country in the world, reported 2 million total cases just the day before. The United States still has the most reported cases and deaths, with nearly 3.6 million and 138,384 on Friday, respectively.