India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections. Despite signs of progress in parts of Europe — where the Louvre in Paris will reopen on Monday — total global infections are fast approaching 11.5 million, with more than 533,000 deaths. India’s major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed.
China has deployed large numbers of troops and weapons along a disputed Himalayan border in violation of bilateral agreements, India’s foreign ministry said on Thursday, accusing Beijing of escalating tensions and triggering a deadly clash last week. “At the heart of the matter is that since early May the Chinese side had been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC,” ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a briefing in New Delhi, referring to the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border. “This is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements,” he said, including a 1993 treaty that dictates that both sides will maintain limited border deployments.
A powerful cyclone pounded eastern India and Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and destroying thousands of homes, officials said, leaving authorities struggling to mount relief efforts amid a surging coronavirus outbreak. The populous Indian state of West Bengal took the brunt of Cyclone Amphan, which barrelled out of the Bay of Bengal with gusting winds of up to 185 km per hour (115 mph) and a storm surge of around five metres. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at least 10 people had died in the state, and two districts been completely battered by one of the strongest storms to hit the region in several years.
India’s 1.3 billion people will go under “total lockdown” for 21 days to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, sparking panic buying with shoppers clearing out shelves. “From 12 midnight today (1830 GMT Tuesday), the entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown,” Modi said in a national television address to the world’s second most-populous nation. “To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family… every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown.”