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India climbs past 9 million coronavirus cases

India climbs past 9 million coronavirus cases
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India on Friday surpassed 9 million COVID-19 infections, trailing only the United States in cases globally. 

The pace of new documented cases has slowed throughout the country from earlier this year, The Associated Press reported. However, cases are on the rise in New Delhi, with the country’s capital adding an average of 6,700 new cases every day in recent weeks.

Experts have warned that infections could spike in the coming weeks following celebrations and widespread gatherings for the Diwali holiday.

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The capital city’s health care system is also under stress as cases continue to rise, according to the AP. An estimated 90 percent of its critical care beds with ventilators designated for COVID-19 patients were full as of Thursday. An estimated 86 percent of critical care beds without ventilators were also full.

State Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said New Delhi is hoping to add another 1,400 additional critical care beds and that private hospitals have been asked to reserve 80 percent of critical care beds and 60 percent of other beds for COVID-19 patients, according to the outlet.

Officials are considering increasing restrictions on businesses and markets throughout the country. In the city of Ahmedabad, which is located in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials announced a weekend curfew for residents in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

India follows the U.S. and Brazil worldwide in documented COVID-19 fatalities. However, experts have warned that undercounting in cases and fatalities is possible throughout India.