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India Records over 200,000 New COVID Cases for the First Time


India (Al Jazeera) – Country reports 200,739 cases, skyrocketing past 14 million overall, as intensifying outbreak puts a grim weight on its fragile healthcare system.

India has reported a record 200,739 COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry, as Delhi government announces weekend lockdowns in the capital and hospitals treating patients report severe shortages of beds and oxygen supplies.

Deaths stood at 1,038, taking the total to 173,123, the data showed on Thursday. The country’s total caseload reached 14.1 million, just behind the United States that leads the global tally with 31.4 million cases.

Thursday’s surge was the seventh record daily increase in the last eight days and comes as India battles a massive second wave of infections that has its epicentre in the economically significant state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai. The western state accounts for about a quarter of the country’s total cases.

Delhi state will go into weekend lockdowns to contain a steep increase in COVID-19 infections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

Shopping malls, gyms, dine-out service at restaurants and some weekly markets will be shut during the weekend and only essential services would remain operational, Kejriwal said.

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