Indian capital to boost COVID-19 testing amid jump in daily cases

A man wears a protective face mask amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as he waits at a bus stop in New Delhi, India, March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reuters) – New Delhi will ramp up testing for COVID-19 and encourage the increased use of masks, a local minister said on Thursday, after India recorded its highest daily case count in nearly six months.

India recorded 3,016 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the federal health ministry said on Thursday, its highest daily case count since Oct. 3, a Reuters tally showed.

The national capital territory of New Delhi recorded 300 new cases in a day, the local government said late on Wednesday, the highest since August last year, according to local media.

“The positivity rate is above 10% in Delhi, but the number of tests are low, which is why there is no reason to panic. We have issued an advisory asking people to wear masks if they have flu-like symptoms and in hospitals,” Saurabh Bhardwaj, Delhi’s health minister told reporters after an emergency meeting of the local government to discuss the rising cases.

India has recorded more than 44 million cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic three years ago, the second-highest tally after the United States.

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