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India reports 10,000 new cases as Covid-19 surges

INDIA reported almost 10,000 new Covid-19 cases today in a sign that the deadly virus is still on the rise.

They bring India’s official tally to 276,583, the fifth-highest worldwide, but the figures are thought to be a big underestimate, with fewer than five million tests conducted so far in a country with 1.3 billion people. 

Nevertheless, the central authrities continued to relax lockdown measures, with shops, restaurants and places of worship reopening in most states.

With the official death toll approaching 8,000, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has slammed “the total inadequacy of the public-health services infrastructure.”

“In its drive to privatise everything, the Narendra Modi government has virtually dismantled public healthcare [and] that is taking its toll in this pandemic,” it declared, calling for an increase in health spending.

And it called for an all-India protest on Tuesday (June 16) over the plight of an estimated 150 million people who have been “rendered unemployed during the lockdown.”

The party called for emergency payments of 7,500 rupees (£77) a month for six months to all families too poor to pay income tax, a monthly ration of 10kg of grain per person, a jobs-guarantee scheme and a reversal of attacks on labour laws.

Covid-19 restrictions were also being relaxed elsewhere, with Malaysia reopening markets and allowing domestic holidays. South Korea ordered businesses, including nightclubs, gyms and karaoke bars, to register customers with QR codes so that they can be tracked if new cases are reported.

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