India’s official count of coronavirus cases has surpassed 20 million, nearly doubling in the past three months, after 357,229 new cases were recorded in the 24 hours to Tuesday. There were 3,449 new deaths taking the official death toll to 222,408. The true figures are believed to be far higher.
Infections have surged in India since February in a disastrous turn blamed on more contagious variants of the virus as well as government decisions to allow massive crowds to gather for Hindu religious festivals and political rallies before state elections.
Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, with me, Alison Rourke.
India has passed 20m cases, with 357,229 cases recorded in the past 24 hours. Only the US, with 32.4m cases has more recorded infections.
It comes as the Indian PM, Narendra Modi, prepares to speak to Britain’s PM about the escalating coronavirus crisis.
In other developments:
In the US, the seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen below 50,000 for the first time since October. The CDC recorded the average as of 2 May as 48,164.
Air travel in the US has hit its highest mark in more than 13 months ago. Nearly 1.67 million people were screened at US airport checkpoints on Sunday, according to the Transportation Security Administration, the highest number since mid-March of last year.
The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for adolescents between ages 12 and 15 years by early next week, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans.
In Greece, restaurants and cafes reopened their terraces on Monday after six months of shutdown, with customers flocking to soak up the sunshine.
In Italy, medical experts and politicians expressed concern about a possible spike in infections after tens of thousands of jubilant soccer fans converged on Milan’s main square Sunday to celebrate Inter Milan’s league title.