Coronavirus latest updates: India’s 4-million COVID-19 blues make it world’s third worst-affected country

India became the third country in the world to cross four million coronavirus cases on Saturday. It also set a new global record for a daily surge in infections and closing in on Brazil's total as the second-highest in the world. A record single-day increase of 86,432 cases pushed India's coronavirus tally past the dreaded 40-lakh mark on Saturday morning. According to Union Health Ministry data, the total number of cases now stand at 40,23,179, which is approximately 70,000 cases behind Brazil, the world's second worst affected nation after the United States. Simply put, India is now the third country after the US and Brazil to record 40 lakh coronavirus cases. Sources from the medical fraternity opine that with the record surge in daily infections, India is likely to overtake Brazil as the second worst-hit nation in the world.

According to the Health Ministry, five states -- Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of cases in the last 24 hours. These five states account for over 62 per cent of the active cases in India. In fact, Maharashtra added a record 20,489 new COVID-19 cases to its tally on Saturday. It is the first time the number of cases reported in a single day have crossed the 20,000-mark. The state’s overall case count rose to 8,83,862. The state’s death toll rose to 26,273 fatalities, with 312 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The state has reported a surge of 91,010 cases in the first five days of the month.

The previous highest single-day jumps were 17,433, 18,105 and 19,218 cases, which were reported on September 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Mumbai, meanwhile, reported 1,737 cases and 33 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, increasing the total count to 1,53,712 cases with 7,829 deaths so far. A new advisory by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) states: “Every individual living in containment zones should be tested using rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits, top medical body. If an individual develops symptoms following a negative RAT (Rapid antigen tests), an RT-PCR test should be done.”

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