Coronavirus: India reports highest daily COVID-19 death toll

A health worker wearing a face shield and a protective face mask checks the temperature of a man with an electronic thermometer at a school in Mumbai, India, August, 10, 2020. (Reuters)

India reported 1,092 new fatalities from COVID-19 on Wednesday, its highest single-day total.

India has the fourth-most deaths in the world and the third-most cases, with over 2.7 million — including more than 64,000 new infections reported in the last 24 hours.

The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to limited testing.

Four of India’s 28 states now account for 63 percent of total fatalities and 54.6 percent of the caseload. The western state of Maharashtra and the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the country’s worst-hit regions.

People wearing face masks walk to catch buses in Kolkata, India on Aug. 14, 2020. (AP)

People wearing face masks walk to catch buses in Kolkata, India on Aug. 14, 2020. (AP)

Meanwhile, the Indian resort state of Goa is cracking down on revelers throwing illegal, drug-fueled parties as coronavirus cases climb in the tourist hotspot, a government minister said Tuesday.

The coastal region has long been a magnet for backpackers and other travelers drawn to its scenic beaches and easygoing vibe, but the pandemic has meant that large get-togethers are now banned.

Lots of bars and restaurants are also unable to operate after many workers fled the state for their home villages when India imposed a strict lockdown in late March.

The partying has not stopped, however -- including in private villas, stone quarries and at secret locations in the jungle involving thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs, according to local media.

Goa’s Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar warned revelers on Tuesday that the good times are over.

These parties are happening illegally... police are looking into it”, he told AFP.

“We are asking people to be vigilant and if they come to know about any such case, they should inform the police,” he added.

“There are guest houses and villas that are operating illegally,” he said, accusing owners of renting out their homes to visitors without informing the authorities.

In a recent case, police busted an underground rave at a private villa on Saturday, seizing drugs worth 900,000 rupees ($12,000) and arresting 23 people, including foreign nationals, according to a report in the Hindustan Times newspaper.

“All aspects of the party are being investigated. Where did the drugs come from? How did they arrange the party, who arranged it,” said Shobhit Saxena, police narcotics superintendent.

The police have “zero tolerance for such cases and gives priority to public health and safety especially in these times”, he told AFP.

Foreign tourists cannot travel to India but Goa is home to a substantial number of foreign residents including many Russians, Israelis and Britons.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 19 August 2020 KSA 15:40 - GMT 12:40
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