India crossed the threshold of six million officially listed coronavirus cases on Monday, the Indian Ministry of Health said.
With 6.1 million cases, India could in the coming weeks overtake the United States (7.2 million) to become the country in the world with the most infections recorded. The official toll of the epidemic in India is close to 100,000 dead.
India is one of the countries of greatest concern to experts, due to its very large population – 1.3 billion people – and the fact that it has some of the most densely populated cities in the world.
The country officially registers 80,000 to 90,000 new cases every day. It has been the country where this increase has been the strongest for a month.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the population to continue wearing the mask outside.
“These rules are weapons in the war against the coronavirus. They are powerful tools to save the life of every citizen, ”Modi said in his monthly radio address.
Large metropolises like Bombay and Delhi were the first to be affected by the virus. But it has spread to regions and rural areas, where health infrastructure is less developed.
Despite this progression of the epidemic, it is unlikely that the government will decide on a new containment, the first having plagued the country's economy, especially as it continues to lift restrictions.
Some schools have reopened. Trains, subways, domestic flights, markets and restaurants can now operate normally.
“The epidemic is well established in the population,” said Anand Krishnan, professor at the country's most prestigious public body, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
“The only thing to do is take care of sick people, identify them faster and treat them better. And follow social distancing standards. ”
Some Delhi residents have said their concerns about the virus are no longer as strong as before.
“I am away from home all day for my job. But otherwise, I don't leave my house, ”says Umang Chutani, 23, who works in a pharmacy.
Himanshu Kainthola, 61, who was ill with COVID-19 last month but has since recovered, also explains that concerns have “dropped a lot” in his family.
“We made it up to us. We take the necessary precautions and seek to increase our immunity rather than let ourselves be overcome by fear. ”
Santosh, a student, says the virus is now “part of our lives”.
“We cannot close all businesses because we must not allow the economy to collapse … COVID-19 will not pay the rent,” he told AFP.