India's coronavirus toll sees record jump of over 2,000 dead
NEW DELHI India's coronavirus death toll leapt by more than 2,000 yesterday as the hard-hit country struggles to contain a ballooning health crisis that has overwhelmed hospitals.
The news came as Germany urged its nationals in India to consider leaving for their own safety, while France warned its citizens in New Delhi to stay home unless going to an airport to return to Europe.
The authorities said the sharp increase in fatalities to 11,903 was mainly due to Mumbai and Delhi updating their figures.
Death tolls in both cities have been increasing in recent days.
Mumbai blamed unspecified accounting "discrepancies" for the increase of 862 to 3,165 deaths. Delhi added more than 430 fatalities, taking its total to more than 1,800.
Officials said 93 of the Delhi deaths and 55 in Mumbai had been in the previous 24 hours.
The epidemic has badly hit India's densely populated major cities, and Chennai in the south has ordered a new lockdown from Friday.
Germany recommended its citizens in India to "seriously consider whether a temporary return to Germany or another country with an assured health care system makes sense".
"Case numbers are still rising strongly. This increases considerably the risk of infection," the German Foreign Ministry said.
People with the coronavirus or other serious medical needs have "no or very little chance of being admitted to hospitals. This increases considerably the health risks of a stay in India", it added.
The French embassy in Delhi also sent a warning to its nationals saying people should stay home unless there is an emergency "or it is to reach an airport for a flight to Europe".
India is the fourth worst hit country in the world with more than 354,000 infections.
In South-east Asia, Indonesia reported 1,031 new cases and 45 more deaths taking infections to 41,431 and deaths to 2,276.
Malaysia reported 10 cases yesterday bringing its total to 8,515. There were no deaths so the toll remains at 121.
Thailand reported no new cases or deaths, marking 23 successive days without a domestic transmission. It has recorded 58 deaths among 3,135 confirmed cases. - AFP, REUTERS, THE STAR