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India to see over 1 million deaths by the start of August: US study projects

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While some countries have started looking toward relaxing mitigation measures in the not-so-distant future, but the crisis in India highlights that the pandemic is still far from over. 

Today, the total tally of coronavirus cases in India mounted to 2,02,82,833 with 3,57,229 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 2,22,408 with 3,449 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data. 

According to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, “the number of cases that are being detected needs to be multiplied by 20 or more to get the number of infections that are occurring in India.” 

“Without drastic measures to bolster the health system to deal with this onslaught, decreased social mixing, and increased effective face mask use, the situation currently looks quite grim for India,” IHME researchers wrote in a briefing.

The institute projects that India will report over 1 million deaths by the start of August. The country’s official death toll currently stands at 2,22,408.

It also said that the cumulative death toll due to COVID-19 could rise to 6,65,000 by the end of July, with around 3,29,000 additional deaths between April 12 to August 1. However, a universal mask coverage (95 per cent) by the end of the third week of April can bring down this figure by 70,000. 

India’s massive population deepens the challenge of containing a highly transmissible virus.

The rate of known coronavirus infections per capita is still less than the United States endured at its peak. 

In India, there have been nearly 19 million known infections since the start of the pandemic, or roughly 1.3% of the total population – compared with more than 32 million, or almost 10% of the U.S. population. 

A total of 2,22,408 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 70,851 from Maharashtra, 17,414 from Delhi, 16,250 from Karnataka, 14,468 from Tamil Nadu, 13,447 from Uttar Pradesh, 11,637 from West Bengal, 9,472 from Punjab and 9,275 from Chhattisgarh.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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