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Global COVID-19 cases top 28 million; India sees new record

Global COVID-19 cases top 28 million; India sees new record
Indian on Friday broke the record for most cases counted in a single day with 96,551. Photo by Divyakant Solanki/EPA-EFE

Sept. 11 (UPI) -- For the second day in a row, India reported a record number of infections as global cases surpassed the 28 million mark.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, global cases of the deadly and infectious coronavirus stood at 28.1 million early Friday after some 300,000 infections were reported over the previous day.

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Roughly a third of those cases were attributed to India, where health officials counted a global single-day record of 96,551 infections over Thursday, trumping the record it set the day prior at 95,735.

Cases in the country have essentially increased unabated since the diagnosis of its first infections of the virus in late January.

Early this week, it jumped Brazil for most infections in the world second to only the United States, which has nearly 6.4 million infections.

The ministry of health said it conducted more than 1.1 million COVID-19 tests over Thursday for a total of 54 million amid the pandemic.

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"Early identification through aggressive and wide-scale testing, prompt and effective treatment in supervised home/facility isolation and hospitals and enhanced clinical skills of ICU doctors have actively led to a high recovery rate," the ministry said in a tweet, adding that it has seen a 100% increase in the number of patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals in the last month.

Despite its skyrocketing cases, India with 76,271 deaths after counting 1,200 more that accumulated on Thursday has a relatively low fatality rate of 1.7%, which is lower than the global average of 4%, the United States' 3%, China's 5.3% and Britain's 11.7%, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, experts are questioning whether cases and deaths have gone underreported due to poor medical infrastructure.

Brazil had the second-most cases over Thursday with 40,557, lifting its total infections to 4.23 million, according to researchers at the Baltimore-based university.

The country's interim health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, said in a statement Thursday that Brazil would be supporting the World Health Organization in its effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that is available worldwide.

"I can safely say that Brazil will always be on the side of any initiative that promotes fair and equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines and treatments and the strengthening of health systems," he said.

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The pledge was of many made by the more than 30 heads of state and ministers to show commitment to advocate for raising some $35 billion required the WHO's plan to produce 2 billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests for worldwide equitable access to fight COVID-19.

The so-called ACT-Accelerator was launched in April but has only raised $2.7 billion, or one-tenth of the necessary funding, and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on Thursday for further international support.

"We need a quantum leap in funding necessary to increase the chances of a global solution to get the world moving, working and prospering again," he said during his keynote speech.

"There is real urgency in these numbers; without an infusion of $15 billion over the next three months, beginning immediately, we will lose the window of opportunity to further advance research, build stocks in parallel with licensing, start procuring and delivering the new diagnostics and therapeutics and help countries prepare to optimize the new vaccines when they arrive," he said.

The announcement came a day after the world passed the grim milestone of 900,000 deaths. As of early Friday, the death toll stood at 909, 828, according to the live tracker by Johns Hopkins University.

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