NEW DELHI－India’s confirmed coronavirus tally reached 6 million cases on Monday, keeping the country second to the United States in number of reported cases since the pandemic began.
Indian Health ministry data showed a rise of 82,000 cases on Monday, taking the total to 6.1 million and closing the gap on the US, which has recorded 7.1 million infections.
However, India has a much lower death rate than other worst-hit nations with almost 100,000 fatalities so far－fewer than half the grisly toll of 205,000 recorded in the US. Brazil has meanwhile recorded 140,000 deaths.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on people to keep wearing face coverings when they ventured outside of their homes.
Health experts have warned about the potential for the virus to spread during the upcoming religious festival season, which is normally marked by huge gatherings of people in temples and shopping districts.
Globally, almost 33.1 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus on Monday and 997,777 have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
In Britain, the opposition Labour Party has said the government should consider pausing the return of university students until an “effective, efficient testing system” is put in place as the country kept seeing cases rise.
As of Monday, there have been more than 437,000 confirmed cases in the UK and over 42,000 people have died.
Meanwhile, thousands of university students have been forced to self-isolate in their bedrooms following a surge in cases of the novel coronavirus at institutions across the United Kingdom including Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan and Edinburgh Napier.
Curbs may last until winter
Students returned to universities across the country this month ready for the new term, but many now fear new restrictions may last through the winter and mean they will not be able to return home for the Christmas holidays.
ITV News reported up to 1,700 students at Manchester Metropolitan, and hundreds more at other institutions, are being prevented from leaving their accommodation blocks by security guards.
Labour’s shadow education secretary, Kate Green, said the start of term should be delayed.
“We do think it is important that students have a choice. If they feel they are going to be safer at home then they should be able to stay at home and conduct their learning remotely,” she said in a letter to the government.
In Spain, the health minister reiterated his plea for Madrid’s regional authorities to apply more stringent restrictions on mobility in Europe’s worst coronavirus hot spot.
Minister Salvador Illa said on Saturday that “the situation in Madrid is complicated, serious. Tough weeks are on their way”, urging local health authorities in charge of the capital’s health crisis to “revise their decisions” and “put in the limits on movement on the whole of the city of Madrid”.
The Madrid regional government announced on Friday an expansion in restrictions on movement to a further eight areas of the Spanish capital.
Jonathan Powell in London,Liu Xuan in Beijing and agencies contributed to this story.