India coronavirus death toll passes China's

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 29 2020 02:29 PM

A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes care of a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease at the Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2020. Danish Siddiqui, Reuters

NEW DELHI — India's coronavirus death toll passed neighboring China's on Friday, with 175 new fatalities in 24 hours taking the total to 4,706, according to official data.

India, home to some of the world's most packed cities and a creaking health care system, is emerging as a new hotspot with record jumps in new cases in recent days. 

Figures from India's health ministry showed 165,799 infections, with western Maharashtra state -- home to the finance hub of Mumbai -- accounting for 36 percent of cases and 42 percent of deaths.

China, where the deadly virus emerged late last year, reported no new deaths or new suspected cases on Friday, with the toll still at 4,634 and a total of 82,995 infections.

Even though the number of cases is surging, India has steadily loosened its lockdown to lessen the massive impact on the economy -- and the country's poor who have been the hardest hit.

Home Minister Amit Shah was also due Friday to hold talks with state chief ministers to discuss a further relaxing of restrictions, press reports said.

The pandemic has killed 357,311 people worldwide, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT on Thursday (7 a.m. in Manila), with the United States recording the most deaths with 101,002 fatalities.