NEW DELHI (AP) – India reported more than 28,000 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, rapidly approaching the 1 million infected mark.
The 28,498 cases reported in the previous 24 hours raised the national total to 906,752. 100,000 new infections have been recorded in four days.
The Ministry of Health also reported 553 deaths in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to 23,727 deaths.
India has largely lifted its national quarantine and the virus has been expanding rapidly, causing several large cities to impose partial quarantines.
The southern city of Pune began a 10-day quarantine on Tuesday in an attempt to curb the contagion curve. Only essential establishments such as dairies, pharmacies, clinics and emergency services will remain open.
Eight of the 28 states in India, including the affected regions of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, account for almost 90% of cases.
India is the third country in the world most affected by the pandemic in terms of infections, only behind the United States and Brazil.
In Australia, the state of Queensland toughened punishment for those who breached quarantine regulations. The current fine for skipping the 14-day hotel quarantine, contemplated for some visitors, or for lying about his whereabouts may not be enough, according to Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles. The new maximum sanction will be a higher fine or six months in prison.
Queensland reopened its borders two weeks ago to everyone except residents of the state of Victoria. The state of Victoria is the nucleus of the last outbreak in Australia, with 270 new infections added overnight to its more than 4,000 active cases. The city of Melbourne, in Victoria, has imposed a six-week confinement to try to contain the outbreak.
South Korea reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 as its prime minister called for surveillance before the summer vacation season. Figures announced by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought the total to 13,512 cases, including 289 deaths.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun urged people to avoid crowded areas, keep distance from other people, and wear a mask when traveling to beaches and other areas during the summer season.
For its part, China indicated that the number of people undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in the country has dropped to 297, with just three new cases reported, all arriving from outside the country. No new deaths were announced, leaving the total at 4,634 of the 83,605 cases. Two experts from the World Health Organization were in China on Monday to prepare an investigation into how the virus could spread since it was detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.