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  •  Indian people wait to give samples for Rapid Antigen Test for COVID, being conducted among slum population, contacts of a cluster of positive cases, at Bagali near Kangra, India, 07 September 2020.

    Indian people wait to give samples for Rapid Antigen Test for COVID, being conducted among slum population, contacts of a cluster of positive cases, at Bagali near Kangra, India, 07 September 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/ Sanjay Baid

Published 7 September 2020
Opinion

The authorities recorded 90.802 new contagions for a total of more than 4 million cases. The death toll increased to 71.642 as 1.016 people died on September 6, 2020.

India surpassed Brazil on Sunday and became the second-most infected country in the world, after the U.S. as the Asian nation reported more than 90.000 new COVID-19 cases.

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Authorities recorded 90.802 new contagions for a total of more than 4 million cases. The death toll increased to 71.642 as 1.016 people died on September 6, 2020.

The latest data by the Ministry of Health shows that Maharashtra, Mumbai's financial capital, is the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 9 million cases and over 26.000 deaths.

Since the city has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections for the last four consecutive days, Maharashtra's authorities on Monday reduced the price of RT-PCR-based Covid-19 tests charged by private labs by 40% in an attempt to increase testing numbers as the city has eased lockdown measures.

According to India's National Statistical Office (NSO), in the period from April to June, the economy contracted 23.9 percent, the deepest fall ever since 1996. The data showed steep declines in almost all sectors, from manufacturing to construction, services, and real state. Agriculture was the only economic activity that slightly increased in this period.

Despite the increasing number of infections, the government tried to tackle the financial crisis by restarting most activities in September and allowing gatherings of up to 100 people with masks at entertainment, sports, and political events.

At the same time, metro services are resuming gradually in major cities. Furthermore, the iconic tourist attraction Taj Mahal will open on September 21, but only 5.000 people will be allowed per day.

Besides Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu cities report the largest infections with 99.689 and 51.458 COVID-19 contagions, respectively. Moreover, local media outlets report that infection rates are increasing mainly in rural areas over fears of proper treatment coverage.

The United Nations Development Programme estimates that only 18 percent of the urban population have health insurance coverage in the country.

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