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India passes Brazil in COVID-19 case count to become No. 2 in the world, behind U.S.

Homeless people stand in a queue to receive free food distributed by the Sikh community in Gauhati, India.
Homeless people stand in a queue to receive free food distributed by the Sikh community near a railway station in Gauhati, India.
(Anupam Nath / Associated Press)

India’s increasing COVID-19 caseload on Monday made it the second-worst-hit country, behind the United States, as its efforts to head off economic disaster gain urgency.

The 90,802 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past that of Brazil to 4.2 million. The United States has more than 6 million cases.

India’s Health Ministry on Monday also reported 1,016 deaths, for a total of 71,642, the third-highest national toll.

India has been recording the world’s largest daily increases in cases for almost a month. Despite more than 2 million new cases in the past month and the coronavirus spreading through small towns and villages, the Indian government has continued relaxing restrictions to try and resuscitate the economy.

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On Monday, the Delhi Metro — a rapid transit system that serves India’s sprawling capital, New Delhi, and adjoining areas — resumed operations after five months. Only asymptomatic people were allowed to board the chugging trains, with masks, social distancing and temperature checks mandatory.

“We are on our way. It’s been 169 days since we’ve seen you!” Delhi Metro tweeted from its official account.

The capital’s metro train network is India’s largest rapid transport system. Before closing in March, the packed trains carried an average of 2.6 million passengers daily.


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