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India re-imposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases jump

The Indian government has re-imposed lockdown restrictions on several states as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country nears the one million mark.

A 15-day lockdown started in the northern state of Bihar on Thursday, after cases sharply increased there. The largely rural state has feeble health infrastructure.

A day earlier, the southern Karnataka State was shut down for a week.

The western state of Goa was also forced to announce a three-day shutdown from Thursday evening and a night curfew until August 10.

The new restrictions come as India’s caseload is on course to hitting one million, with fatalities approaching 25,000.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have warned that the South Asia region is fast becoming the next epicenter for the coronavirus.

“While the world’s attention has been focused on the unfolding crisis in the United States and South America, a concurrent human tragedy is fast emerging in South Asia,” the organization said. “COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate in South Asia, home to a quarter of humanity.”

The United States and Brazil have registered the highest caseloads and death tallies in the world.

India has reported almost 970,000 cases, and the pandemic is also raging in Pakistan and Bangladesh with almost 260,000 and 195,000 cases respectively. The three countries have recorded a total of more than 1.4 million cases and almost 33,000 deaths, according to official figures.


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