- India passes 4 million cases
- Aussie police arrest 300 people at Melbourne anti-lockdown protest
- Mexico cases climb
- Brazil still No. 2 highest case count with 4.09 million
- Iraqi health care system on the brink as country suffers record spike in cases
- Italy tries to stop soccer fans from returning to stadiums
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As we noted just the other day, India is on the cusp of passing Brazil to become the country with the second-largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. It took yet another step closer late this week as it crossed the 4 million-case threshold.
Now the world’s new virus epicenter, having recorded more cases than any other country during the month of August, as India's outbreak appeared to accelerate due to an ambitious government-sponsored mass-testing, India added 86,432 infections in 24 hours, pushing the total tally to 4.02 million, according to data released by India’s health ministry Saturday. Over 69,500 people have died from the novel pathogen, making it the third-largest by number of Covid-19 deaths.
Brazil, on the other hand, has confirmed 4,091,801 infections while the United States has 6,200,186 confirmed cases, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.
India's health ministry on Saturday also reported 1,089 deaths for a total of 69,561.
The world's second-most populous country imposed the world’s biggest lockdown as early as March, but began relaxing it in phases from June after millions of Indians were thrust into poverty, sparking a wave of social unrest that rattled the country's population centers, before spreading throughout India's vast countryside.
The virus has followed a similar pattern. The increased testing comes as India moves to loosen even more restrictions to try and revive its faltering economy. It's widely expected that India will eventually surpass both Brazil and the US.
Some other important developments in the global COVID-19 pandemic occurred overnight:
Police in the Australian city of Melbourne arrested about 300 people protesting against the city's ongoing coronavirus lockdown, which has endured despite showing minimal effectiveness in quashing the region's still-relatively-tame outbreak. Victoria State, which includes Melbourne as its capital, Australia's coronavirus hotspot said its death toll rose by 59 - though not all cases actually died over the past day - and there were 81 new cases. 50 of these deaths were people in aged-care facilities who died in July and August, the state health department said.
Mexico saw confirmed cases climbed to 623,090, while deaths reached 66,851.
Iraq has recorded its highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, prompting authorities to warn hospitals might "lose control" as new serious cases overwhelm the region's meager health-care resources, which are heavily centralized in hospitals.
According to the Iraqi health ministry, 5,036 new infections were confirmed within 24 hours on Friday, bringing the total number of cases across the country to 252,075. Of these, 7,359 have died.
The health ministry attributed the spike to recent "large gatherings" - many related to an important holiday in Shia Islam - that violated social distancing recommendations.
Italy's government is lobbying against the return of football fans to stadiums as the number of newly reported cases begins to climb. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in a stable condition two days after being admitted to a nearby hospital with serious COVID-19 symptoms.
"This instils cautious but reasonable optimism," said spokesman Alberto Zangrillo in a brief statement. Italy's longest-serving postwar leader is 83.
Around the world, some 26.5 million people have been diagnosed with the virus, while another 872,000 have died. More than 17.6 million people have recovered.
New Jersey yesterday announced that its rate of transmission had popped back above "1", meaning that the outbreak is spreading once again. Though this has happened several times since the last outbreak slowed.