India’s coronavirus cases jump from 2 million to 3 million in less than three weeks

Health worker takes nasal swab in Hyderabad, India
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample to test for the coronavirus in Hyderabad, India, on Saturday.
(Mahesh Kumar A. / Associated Press)

India’s coronavirus caseload topped 3 million Sunday, with the country leading the world in new infections as the virus marched through impoverished rural areas in the north and the wealthier but older populations of the south.

Health authorities reported 69,239 new cases and 912 deaths, bringing the total to 3,044,940.

India surpassed the 2-million mark Aug. 7, meaning that the number of cases has shot up by a million, or 50%, in less than three weeks.


Part of the quick rise in the official count could be due to increased testing. Cases have leveled off in India’s two largest cities, with serological surveys showing widespread prevalence among the residents of the capital, New Delhi, and financial center, Mumbai.

But new hot spots continue to feed surges in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states in India’s north, and in the southern states of Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

India has the world’s third-highest caseload after the United States and Brazil, and its 56,706 fatalities are the fourth-highest in the world.