Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 213 million

More than 213.07 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 4,624,390 have died on Wednesday.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

India reported 37,593 new infections of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the federal government said in a statement.

Deaths rose by 648, taking the toll to 435,110, the ministry said.

Australia, grappling to control a third wave of the coronavirus, has locked down more than half of its 25 million population, including its largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and is accelerating an initially sluggish vaccine rollout.

Sydney’s COVID-19 infections hit a daily record on Wednesday, putting parts of the health system under pressure, while Japan is set to expand a state of emergency to eight more prefectures, taking the total to 21.

The spike in cases comes as Australia’s federal government pressed states to stick to a four-stage national reopening plan agreed last month, as some have suggested delays given the persistently high new daily case numbers in Sydney.

New Zealand has 62 new COVID-19 cases in the community, the Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in the latest outbreak to 210.

So far 12 of these cases are in the capital Wellington while the rest are in the largest city Auckland, he said.

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