NEW DELHI — India has reported more than 67,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, raising the country’s number of reported infections to 3.2 million with 1.5 million reported infections coming this month alone.
The Health Ministry on Wednesday also reported 1,059 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities from the pandemic to 59,449.
India has been recording more than 60,000 new infections per day for the last two weeks, reaching a peak of 69,652 cases on Aug. 19. New reported infections dropped to around 61,000 on Monday and Tuesday, but picked up again in the past 24 hours.
The ministry said India’s recovery rate was now around 76% with a fatality rate of 1.84%.
Even though the country of nearly 1.4 billion people has been slowly opening up to heal the economy, areas identified as most affected by the virus continue to remain under lockdown.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— U.S. crackdown on nonessential border travel causes long waits
— New COVID-19 mandates on health care facilities get pushback in U.S.
— South Korea orders doctors to stop strike amid virus crisis
— Anti-government activist Bundy arrested at Idaho Statehouse
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SEOUL, South Korea — Health officials in South Korea called on thousands of striking doctors to return to work as the country counted its 13th straight day of triple-digit jumps in coronavirus cases.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo cited the growing virus crisis while issuing back-to-work orders for doctors in Seoul area who had joined physicians in other parts of the country for a three-day strike starting Wednesday to protest government plans to boost the number of medical students. Doctors’ groups say such measures would worsen what’s already a cut-throat market.
South Korea’s Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention reported 320 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 237 from the densely populated Seoul region, which has been the center of a viral resurgence in recent weeks. Health workers have struggled to stem transmissions linked to various places and groups, including churches, schools, restaurants and door-to-door salespeople.
Park’s ministry said more than 2,000 medical facilities nationwide had reported their intentions to close for Wednesday after doctors’ groups, including the Korean Medical Association and the Korean Intern Resident Association, expressed dissatisfaction over their negotiations with government officials.
Park said doctors who refuse to return to work could possibly have their licenses suspended or revoked, or even face a prison term of less than three years.
MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials are expressing concern that the country may have entered a plateau of coronavirus infections after about three weeks of slight declines.
The Health Department said Tuesday there were 4,916 newly confirmed cases, bringing Mexico’s total to 568,621. There were 650 newly confirmed deaths, bring the country’s total to 61,450, the third highest in the world.
The Health Department’s epidemiology director, José Luis Alomía, said “the trend is moving toward what could be a plateau.”
The numbers are considered to be a vast undercount, given Mexico’s extremely low rate of testing. But what has been consistent is the relatively high number of health workers infected, possibly because they are exposed more and are tested at a higher rate.
Since the pandemic began, 97,632 nurses, doctors and other hospital employess have tested positive, equivalent to about 17% of all the country’s cases. A total of 1,320 health workers have died of COVID-19 in Mexico.
BEIJING — China has suspended a flight from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai for a week after passengers on board tested positive for coronavirus.
Etihad flight EY862 was put on hold from Tuesday after five passengers aboard the Aug. 15 flight turned in a positive result in a nucleic acid test, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said on its microblog.
For the 10th consecutive day, China has reported only imported cases of the virus, with another 15 added on Wednesday. China currently has 347 people in treatment for COVID-19, while another 365 people are being monitored in isolation for having tested positive for the virus without showing symptoms.
The country has reported 4,634 deaths among 84,996 cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year before spreading worldwide.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — More California children with special needs will be allowed back in classrooms in small groups under new state guidance released Tuesday.
It applies to K-12 students including those with disabilities, students who are homeless and English language learners, among others. Those students would be allowed back in schools, at day camps and in other settings in groups of no more than 14 youth and two supervising adults.
The rules apply to schools in counties that still aren’t allowed to open for in-person learning because of the coronavirus.
HONOLULU — Hawaii’s most populous island is returning to a stay-at-home order while officials strive to conduct 70,000 COVID-19 tests in two weeks.
Oahu has seen a surge in daily positive cases. The federal government will help officials test 5,000 people daily for two weeks.
During that time, Oahu will be under a stay-at-home order where gyms and dine-in restaurants will be closed. Religious services may continue.
The spike also has included an outbreak at the state’s largest jail. State Sen. Clarence Nishihara is criticizing Gov. David Ige’s administration for failing to widely test inmates swiftly enough.
MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state on Wednesday recorded one of its deadliest days of the pandemic despite new COVID-19 infections continuing to trend down.
The 24 fatalities in the latest 24-hour period is the largest death toll apart from the all-time daily record of 25 set on Aug. 17.
Victoria’s Health Department reported 149 news cases on Wednesday following 148 infections on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s count brought the weekly average to 175 new cases a day, down from 279 in the previous week.