India starts low-priced testing amid highest daily cases

Indian people form a queue to get a nasal swab test for the coronavirus at Government Fever hospital in Hyderabad India Wednesday

India's coronavirus cases surge, closes in on 1 million

More than half of the cases are concentrated in three states, Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu with numbers spiralling in rural areas with poor healthcare system fuelled by migrant workers returning from the cities after they lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Till date, Karnataka has carried out 9.25 lakh COVID tests.

"This is an opportunity for us all to discuss and debate what the "new normal" should look like - particularly when it comes to the quality of the air we breathe", Kumar said.

The number of new cases in one day has increased by 34,956.

National Capital Delhi reported 1,462 new COVID-19 cases taking the total count to 1,20,107.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Thursday less than 2% of COVID-19 patients are admitted to intensive care units (ICU) in India.

A senior Health Ministry official, Yoon Tae-ho, said imported cases were less worrisome than local ones because they are largely caught by mandatory testing and a 14-day quarantine for all people arriving from overseas. The statement also said that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have already reached a combined total of more than 1.35 million cases - over 10% of the world's total. That compares with 3.6 million confirmed cases in the United States and 2 million in Brazil- countries with less than a third of India's population.

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The strategy of home isolation for the mild and asymptomatic patients has ensured to keep the hospitals unburdened, where the focus has been on treatment of the severe cases and reduction of fatality.

Bihar, which has seen 21,764 cases so far, is under a 16-day lockdown till July 31 following an "alarming surge in COVID-19 positive cases in the last three weeks".

A sharp rise in cases has also forced a new lockdown in Goa, a state on India's western coast that is famed for its beaches, just a few weeks after it reopened to tourists, a lifeline to the state economy. It's only trailing the USA and Brazil now, which have 3.6 million and 2 million infections respectively, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show. Nearly 80 per cent of the asymptomatic and mild cases have been advised home isolation under medical supervision, the ministry said. More than 6.35 lakhs (63.33 percent) of the total cases have recovered. More than 5.84 lakh people have died so far.

It added that with the use of antigen tests, more tests were being carried out, and that it was absolutely necessary that all such testing data is uploaded to the ICMR database and all positive cases were brought to the attention of district/ municipal authorities for isolation/quarantine/treatment.

In Houston, an 86-person Army medical team worked to take over a wing of United Memorial Medical Center. Other states have also announced a lockdown in affected districts.

But deaths have been rising.

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