India records world's biggest single-day jump in virus cases

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Muslims wearing face masks beat drums as they take part in a Muharram procession in Kolkata, India, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. India has the third-highest coronavirus caseload after the United States and Brazil, and the fourth-highest death toll in the world. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

NEW DELHI – India registered 78,761 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the biggest single-day spike in the world since the pandemic began, just as the government began easing restrictions to help the battered economy.

The surge raised India's tally to over 3.5 million, and came as the government announced the reopening of the subway in New Delhi, the capital. It also will move ahead with limited sports and religious events next month.

A country of 1.4 billion people, India now has the fastest-growing daily coronavirus caseload of any country in the world, reporting more than 75,000 new cases for four straight days.

One of the reasons is testing: India now conducts nearly 1 million tests every day, compared with just 200,000 two months ago.

A significant feature of India’s COVID-19 management, however, is the growing rate of recovered patients. On Sunday, the recovery rate reached nearly 76.5%.

The Health Ministry credited its strategic policy of “testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently” in supervised home isolation and hospitals.

But COVID-19 fatalities continue to mount and soon India will have the third-largest death toll, after the United States and Brazil, even though it has had far fewer deaths than those two countries.

India is now reporting around 1,000 COVID-19 deaths every day. So far, more than 63,000 Indians have died from the disease.