India records 78,761 new coronavirus cases

A woman reacts as a medical worker takes a swab from her to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, June 26, 2020. REUTERS/Amit Dave

India has recorded 78,761 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the highest single-day rise in case numbers recorded anywhere in the world.

More than 63,000 people died in the same 24 hour period, according to India’s health ministry.

On 17 July, the US had reported 77,638 new cases, setting the previous highest single-day record.

India has the third highest number of infections, behind the US and Brazil, with more than 3.5 million cases among the population of 1.3 billion.

The financial hub Mumbai and the capital New Delhi were badly hit by coronavirus. Infections are now surging in smaller cities and rural areas.

The new cases came a day after the government further eased its lockdown. From next month people can gather in groups of up to 100 for cultural, entertainment, sport and political events, as long as they wear masks and socially distance.

India has had restrictions in place since late March, and the economy is struggling, with millions of job losses and a disproportionate impact on poor people.

Schools remain closed but students can meet teachers on a voluntary basis on school premises if needed, according to the new guidelines.

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