4.85mn corona cases in India; deaths relatively low

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Healthcare workers at a Delhi bus terminal test for coronavirus amid a surge of cases in India. — Courtesy photo
Healthcare workers at a Delhi bus terminal test for coronavirus amid a surge of cases in India. — Courtesy photo

MUMBAI — India has recorded 92,071 new cases of the coronavirus, taking total cases to 4.85 million, the federal health ministry said on Monday.

The world's second-most populous country lags only the United States globally in overall number of infections, but it has been reporting more daily cases than the United States since mid-August.

Deaths have been relatively low so far compared with the number of infections but are seeing an uptick. More than 1,100 people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the ministry said, taking the total number of fatalities from the disease to 79,722.

India is considering granting an emergency authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for the elderly and people in high-risk workplaces, said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. "If there is a consensus we may go ahead with it, especially in the case of senior citizens and people working in high-risk settings."

Vardhan said the timeline on Phase III trials could be shortened by giving emergency authorization, but stressed no corners would be cut in clinical trials and that a vaccine would only be made available when the government could ensure its safety and efficacy.

India lags only the United States globally in overall number of infections, but it has been adding more daily cases than the United States since mid-August. — Agencies


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