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Coronavirus: India infections top five million mark

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The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in India has surpassed five million, officials say, the second-highest in the world after the US.

The virus is spreading much faster in India than any other country, with daily cases crossing 90,000 for the five days up until Tuesday.

More than 80,000 people have died, amid reports of shortages of intensive care beds and oxygen supplies.

But the death rate is lower than in many countries with a high caseload.

The rise in infections comes as the government continues to lift restrictions throughout the country to try to boost an economy that lost millions of jobs when the virus hit in March.

In the initial stages of Covid-19, India appeared to be doing fairly well, imposing a strict lockdown, but the virus then hit megacities like Mumbai and the capital Delhi, before surging in smaller cities and rural areas.

Despite the increase, the government has eased restrictions.

As India opens up its economy and people return to work, Covid-19 cases have been surging. Some 600,000 cases were added just last week.

India's caseload now stands at 5,020,359 after it added 90,123 cases in the last 24 hours.

What about reported oxygen shortages?

Demand for oxygen has risen exponentially recently.

Hospitals and care centres are consuming up to about 2,700 tonnes of oxygen every day this month, compared with 750 tonnes in April, according to data obtained from All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association.

Oxygen cylinders in India. File photoimage copyrightGetty Images

Oxygen manufacturers say the demand for industrial oxygen has also shot up beRead More – Source

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