India’s coronavirus death toll crossed China’s on Friday, with 175 new fatalities in 24 hours taking the total to 4,706, according to official data.
India, home to some of the world’s most packed cities and a creaking healthcare system, is emerging as a new hotspot with record jumps in new cases in recent days.
Figures from India’s health ministry showed 165,799 infections, with western Maharashtra state — home to the finance hub of Mumbai — accounting for 36 percent of cases and 42 percent of deaths. China, where the deadly virus emerged late last year, reported no new deaths or new suspected cases on Friday, with the toll still at 4,634 and a total of 82,995 infections. Even though the number of cases is surging, India has steadily loosened its lockdown to lessen the massive impact on the economy — and the country’s poor who have been the hardest hit.
Home Minister Amit Shah was also to hold talks with state chief ministers to discuss a further relaxing of restrictions, press reports said. The pandemic has killed 357,311 people worldwide, with US recording more than 100,000 fatalities.