India surpasses Russia to have third-highest case count
Amy Kazmin in New Delhi
India has surpassed Russia as the country with the world’s third-highest coronavirus caseload, after several days where the South Asian nation of 1.3bn people detected more than 20,000 new cases a day.
India, which has had one of the lowest coronavirus testing rates of any major economy, has detected more than 697,410 infections, more than Russia’s 680,280, the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows.
India ranks behind the US and Brazil as the countries with the highest known caseload. Healthcare systems in many cities, including India’s IT hub Bangalore, are struggling to keep pace with the strain.
However, of those known to have been infected with the virus, just 19,693 have died — far fewer than those of European countries like the UK, Spain and Italy, which have fewer confirmed cases but an older population.
Public health officials believe India’s true coronavirus burden is probably significantly higher, as the testing rate lags behind other countries, as different states have attempted to restrict testing in order to downplay the severity of the pandemic in their geographies.
India has conducted 7,224 coronavirus tests per million people, compared with 15,667 per million in Brazil and 113,588 tests per million people in the US, according to Worldometer.
Several cities in India — including Guwahati in the tea-growing state of Assam, and Trivandrum the capital of Kerala state — are imposing stricter lockdowns in their efforts to slow the spread of the virus.